Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

Calderon: WikiLeaks caused severe damage to U.S.-Mexico relations

Friday, March 4, 2011 |




By Mary Beth Sheridan
Washington Post Staff Writer


Mexican President Felipe Calderon said Thursday that the release of State Department cables criticizing Mexico's anti-drug fight had caused "severe damage" to its relationship with the United States and suggested that tensions had risen so dramatically that he could no longer work with the American ambassador in his country.

Calderon's comments were the strongest to date on the secret cables distributed by WikiLeaks, which have threatened to disrupt what both sides have hailed as increasingly close cooperation against Mexico's violent drug gangs.

The Mexican president, at the start of a one-day visit to Washington, suggested that the release of the cables had caused turmoil on his national security team. He took aim at one U.S. cable that said that Mexican military officials had "risk-averse habits."

"It's difficult if suddenly you are seeing the courage of the army [questioned]. For instance, they have lost probably 300 soldiers ... and suddenly somebody in the American embassy, they [say] the Mexican soldiers aren't brave enough," Calderon told Washington Post reporters and editors.

"Or you decide to play the game that they are not coordinated enough, and suddenly start to bring information to one agency and not to the other and try to get them to compete."

Calderon's remark appeared to be a reference to a cable signed by Ambassador Carlos Pascual that described how the Mexican navy captured a major trafficker after U.S. officials gave them information that the Mexican army had not acted upon.

"We have an expression in Mexico, which says, 'Don't help me, compadre,'" Calderon said sarcastically, using the Spanish word for a close friend.

Asked whether he could continue to work with the U.S. ambassador, the Mexican leader said, "That is a question that maybe I will talk [about] with President Obama." The two leaders were scheduled to meet at midday.

Pressed on whether he had lost confidence in Pascual, Calderon paused and then said, "It's difficult to build and it's easy to lose."

U.S. officials have defended Pascual's work and said he would attend the meeting Thursday between Calderon and Obama.

Pascual and the embassy in Mexico are "doing tremendous work to advance U.S. national interests and to support our Mexican partners in - both in the security space but [also] across the full range of the relationship," a senior U.S. official said in a conference call with reporters on the eve of the visit. He spoke under ground rules of anonymity.

If Pascual was recalled, he would be the most prominent U.S. casualty of the WikiLeaks scandal. Only one American ambassador has had to leave the country where he was based because of the cables - Ambassador Gene Cretz, who took an extended break from Libya before the anti-government demonstrations erupted there.

Pascual did not answer an e-mail seeking comment.

Calderon is under intense pressure to curb violence that has soared since he unleashed the Mexican army against powerful drug-trafficking gangs. Over 35,000 Mexicans have been killed in drug-related violence during the past four years.

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26 Borderland Beat Comments:

Anonymous said...

Who does Calderon think he is fooling? Is he really so closed off as to think the US is going to wallow in shame because these leaks were made public? He is a captain on a sinking ship. The US Coast Guard pulls up and says "Hey Captain, your ship is sinking, hop on." And he replies "How dare you tell me my ship is sinking?!?!? For that, I refuse to get on your boat". Oh well, as you were Presidente. Good luck with that sinking ship you are on.

Anonymous said...

so when president calderon said

"Calderon's remark appeared to be a reference to a cable signed by Ambassador Carlos Pascual that described how the Mexican navy captured a major trafficker after U.S. officials gave them information that the Mexican army had not acted upon.
"We have an expression in Mexico, which says, 'Don't help me, compadre,'" Calderon said sarcastically, using the Spanish word for a close friend."

Was he actually just saying hey leave my drug shipment alone, I am counting on the money it will bring me". ?

Anonymous said...

@March 4, 2011 2:16 PM

Your analogy is the most stupidest I ever heard. haha..but good laugh.

Anonymous said...

what happens is that the army is paid off and will not respond to these alerts or tips, and the navy is well, i just cant say

Anonymous said...

Most stupidest??? Um....yeah.....you may want to double up on the homework before calling out someone else Mr. Smarty Pants. I think we have left a child behind.

''lito'brito said...

the george bush of mexico..what a dumbfuck

Anonymous said...

What balls on this clown....Americans are sick and tired of Mexico exporting their poverty to the U.S. Mexico is a country abundant with natural resources and a country full of citizens willing to work their asses off for the most menial of jobs, yet you would rather send all of your problems north. And we are the bad guys? Stop playing the blame game and do something for your country and its people. Prick.

Anonymous said...

I actually loved the analogy and common Calderon, it's not like you didn't know this to be somewhat true. Risk adverse doesn't necessarily mean not brave. It means, they are NOT TRAINED to confront the mess in a proper way. Calderon reminds me of my gf who would twist what I said, hold a grudge and ruin the weekend over something as tiny as this.
He comes to the USA twice now and insults us for wanting to secure our borders protecting the abuse of our liberal forgiving system and it's costly infrastructure. He complains about walls being built, yet he's building his own and again, he needs to look at the deep rooted issues of Mexico instead of constantly blaming the USA. Worst of all, is Obama doesn't know how to lead or put his foot down unless it involves hard working Americans who are striving to make an honest living. If your a business owner making money, you are taking advantage of your workers. All he knows how to lead us in, is leading us off the cliff. Unreal...He ought to tell Calderon respectfully, he's sorry for the comments, but your country has serious issues and we are trying to help, now lets move on!! Instead I'm sure he sat there and kissed his ass like he does everyone else probably putting us on the same level as Mexico like he did Europe.

How many times have I read an article where the US literally gave wire tapped or collected information to higher authorities in the Mex government only to have them ignored.

Anonymous said...

Bravo Mr, Calderon.
for too many years we have had Presidentes who stoop low to appease the "American" pompous
public, Tell them like it is.
no te rajes cabron.
Wait a few more years and see how the Condascending attitudes miraculously change
The couch Commandos who spew hot air will see the results in their lifetime.

Anonymous said...

fuking retards what do u tink hes doing he has been geting a lot of bad guys of the streets its not that easy in this cuntry he did not have a strong foundation to work whit yall are just retarded idiots on the side lines yea thers a hole lot of corupt oficials over hear but he is doing perty good cleaning up the cuntry

Anonymous said...

The truth hurts Calderon you have a failed government,military and police departments in your state. And the bad guys are winning.

Anonymous said...

Anon @5:13 - I couldn't agree more! Great post. It seems to me with all of the worldwide events happening, including Mexico on our borders, our POTUS and his advisers are amateurs and are very dangerous to the security of our country.

Anonymous said...

Sorry I read the time wrong, I meant my comment for Anon @7:00pm.

Anonymous said...

Blah, blah, blah, the borrower is the slave to the lender. You take U.S. money and you do what the hell you are told.

Kind of how Obama does what the Chinese tell him to do...

Anonymous said...

So Mexico sends its poverty to the US, but the US sends its guns to Mexico, along with a huge, non-stop demand for narcotics. Mexico hungers for food, the US starves for drugs.

Anonymous said...

f americans yall are a bunch off drug addicts in a few years ur drug adict chilldren will be runing the cuntry and pawning ther chilldren for a crack rock

Anonymous said...

the borrower is the slave to the lender. You take U.S. money and you do what the hell you are told.
Well I think China will be giving orders to the United States soon.

Calderon is a good President. Is only that things are not easy Mexico right now.

U.S.A with all the best technology well train best paid military have not kill or capture Osama bin Laden in more than 10 years.

As far as I know the U.S.A is the most PowerFull country in the world.

Things are not that easy.

''lito'brito said...

it is a myth that mexicans are poverty stricken..there are many people in the USA who are as poor as any body in mexico

the richest man in the world is mexican...telcel...really poor people don't have cell phones ya'll..every body in Mexico has a cell phone

Anonymous said...

oh come on now, ''lito'brito....
If you believe there are poor people in the USA it's only because the CIA tricked you into believing it. Every single american is a fat, lazy, racist, gun-owning, drug addicted, millionaire with a vendetta against everyone and everything mexican.

''lito'brito said...

@anon ....


yeah yer right i was just kidding ..

we all live in paid for mansions ...and just go from pool to golf all day long...and you can tell haw racist we all are by how much money we give away for foreign aid every year and by how many differen't races and cultures are living here ...

some even illegally...

we should all feel so guilty about it ...you know ..how much better we have it than anybody else..

i especially feel sorry for the israeli's ...i feel about 3 billion dollars a year sorry for them ..

i really hate it when i have to get out of my limo and get on a burro when i go to Mexico.

Ardent said...

Brito, this is a national myth you spout about how supposedly generous 'we' in the US are with foreign aid. Most of this 'aid' is in fact money spent by our own not so democratic government on the military and police in foreign countries that have despotic governments can stay in place for US elites. Like how much aid is it in what 'we've (our non-responsive to the citizens US government) spent on killing in Iraq and Afghanistan? Should our nation as a whole be given a giant gold star because of this spending? I don't think so.

The big gnews in this meeting between Calderon and Obama is that the US government pledged to keep up its demands on Mexico that it fight the US 'war on drugs' for D.C. Big surprise here, right?

Anonymous said...

Gentelmen please,nevermind the eagos and machismo,remember these are politicians,EVERYBODY IS TRYING TO CLEAN UP MEXICO I hope---pull together!!

''lito'brito said...

@ardent


and still the USA is the destination for immigrants from all over the world...we are the most hospitable nation on earth

Mexico is adept at playing "poor mouth"

our ricos con us into providing welfare for others countrys , so that the wealthy of that country dosen't have to pay anything

...can't you disagree or present your opinion without being nasty

i am warning you urn..you better play nice with me or i am gonna fuck you all up AGAIN

i accept that you cant help being old and confused...but you don't have to be so nasty all the time..you better flame off hoven

Layla2 said...

Brito and Ardent Urny - you are the (secret) reason I read this post almost daily...

If nothing else comes of it but a kackle!

Seriously though, I hope we are all learning from each other and how to teach our children to build a better world...

wp1957 said...

"No me ayude Compadre".
Guesss that is what started all this hate talk.

The above phrase should not be taken literally.
An example to clarify it´s usage.

You have had a bad day at office, a car tire blew on your way home, you son broke an arm playing football, your other son flunked 3 subjects at school, your wife threw divorce papers at your face ... and when you are about to have a beer with your best buddy, even he acts sh**ty with you.
What would you say? "Ya no me ayude Compare!"

Same thing over here. Army is doing its best, patrolling streets when they are soldiers not trained as police. rug cartels are extremely violent... too many killings have taken place...and the top of the cherry is the neighbor comment: "Well, it is not good enough!"
Bha!

YOUR national security to which you are rightly entitled should be secured INSIDE your frontiers and not impossed on other nations to fight for you.

My 2 cents on this.

Regards from Monterrey, Mexico

Anonymous said...

Calderon has no shame in his game. Really, Dont help us Compadre? He is on a sinking ship and refuses to accept a life raft. What a joke.

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