[La Jornada, Mexico]



El Universal, Mexico

WikiLeaks Revelations a Devastating Shock to Mexico


"The damage control that the government has attempted isn't nearly enough to mitigate the harm that has been done. … If someone had been dedicated to tracking files that are the most devastating to Mexico in the State Department archives, he would have been hard pressed to find a more damaging set."


By Manuel Camacho Solís



Translated By Florizul Acosta-Perez


December 6, 2010


Mexico - El Universal - Original Article (Spanish)

President Felipe Calderon: The U.S. diplomatic cables are a harsh contrast to Mexico's insistence that the war on drugs that began in 2006 is going well.  

BBC NEWS VIDEO: Mexico arrests 14-year-old 'drug hitman,' Dec. 4, 00:01:21RealVideo

The publication of internal State Department documents about Mexico is equivalent to an external shock to the domestic policies of our nation. The information will further complicate the end of this administration's term in office and increase tensions within the government. The damage control that the government has attempted isn't nearly enough to mitigate the harm that has been done. The government should seriously consider remedial measures to protect state institutions and offer apologies to those who were offended.


[Editor's Note: In some of the leaked U.S. diplomatic cables, American diplomats paint a scathing picture of the Mexican Army, branding it unfit to combat drug traffickers.]


If someone had been dedicated to tracking files that are the most devastating to Mexico in the State Department archives, he would have been hard pressed to find a more damaging set.


It does little good to argue that President Felipe Calderon is truly committed to the battle against drugs, if all that comes along with that commitment demonstrates how his government is permeated by incompetence and corruption. The information shows Felipe Calderon as a leader who puts no limits on U.S. involvement, fails to coordinate security in his areas of responsibility and is absent from key decisions that can only devolve to him. The impression remains that the central decisions regarding domestic security are being taken by parts of the U.S. government. And that after four years, each sector of government that has been organized according to his wishes, is working on its own without any coordination among the Defense Department, the Navy, the public security services, the Center of Investigation and National Security, and the Attorney General's Office, not to mention other institutions of government and the complex federal mosaic. Important decisions like the suspension or continuance of security cooperation are resolved among the agencies themselves.


The worst thing one could say in the midst of a “war” regarding a command is that there is no coordination of forces, it is losing control over significant portions of its territory and it has less and less support from its general public. Such a situation, it is known, anticipates defeat.


The very severe judgments about the Mexican Army and the comparisons made with the Navy will do nothing but create additional tensions within the Armed Forces. Information about the claims of the Federal Police and the judicial system [that the military doesn't have the authority to collect and introduce evidence into the judicial system] doesn't serve the purpose of returning control to civilian areas.


It's urgent to develop a policy to protect the Army as an institution (including the Air Force and the Navy) in view of the new challenges they face (human rights, adaptation their functions to new realities and global pressure). The nation requires new armed forces that are competent, respected, and whose activities adhere to and are protected by the Constitution. If anything, Mexico and its Armed Forces have a lot to be proud of compared to other areas, where there are problems with civilian control and loyalty.    



It would be desirable for our chief executive to review the claims [in the U.S. cables] that involve him personally, in order to make corrections where necessary. If, indeed, Felipe Calderon told a high-ranking U.S. official that President Chavez could have financed the campaign of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, when Calderon has all of the elements to prove that this is false, what would he lose by apologizing publicly, as the U.S. government has done with those they have offended by the WikiLeaks disclosures?



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Guardian, U.K.: Cables Portray Saudi Arabia as a Cash Machine for Terrorists

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Guardian, U.K.: Saudi Arabia Urges U.S. Attack on Iran

Hurriyet, Turkey: Erdogan Needs 'Anger Management' Over U.S. Cables

Saudi Gazette, Saudi Arabia: WikiLeaks Reveals 'Feeling, Flawed' Human Beings

Frontier Post, Pakistan: WikiLeaks Reveals 'America's Dark Face' to the World

The Nation: WikiLeaks' Release: An Invaluable Exposure of American Hypocrisy

Buenos Aires Herald, Argentina: Without Hypocrisy, Global Ties Would Be Chaos

Kayhan, Iran: WikiLeaks Release a 'U.S. Plot to Sow Discord'

El Universal, Mexico: WikiLeaks and Mexico's Battle Against Drug Trafficking

Toronto Star, Canada: WikiLeaks Dump Reveals Seamy Side of Diplomacy

Guardian, U.K.: WikiLeaks Cables, Day 3: Summary of Today's Key Points

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Hurriyet, Turkey: American Cables Prove Turkish Claims on Missile Defense False

The Nation, Pakistan: WikiLeaks: An Invaluable Exposure of American Hypocrisy

Kayhan, Iran: WikiLeaks Revelations a 'U.S. Intelligence Operation': Ahmadinejad

Novosti, Russia: 'Russia Will be Guided by Actions, Not Leaked Secrets'

Guardian, U.K.: Job of Media is Not to Protect Powerful from Embarrassment

ANSA, Italy: WikiLeaks: 'No Wild Parties' Says Berlusconi


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[Editor's Note: In a cable from the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City, dated October 2009, President Calderon is described as telling the former U.S. director of national intelligence, Dennis Blair, that he believed Chavez had "funded" his top opponent and nemesis in the race three years earlier, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.]


Given the external shock posed by these leaks, the government might close itself off with formality and the inertia of its policies. This would be a grave error. We need to make a serious and dignified response, not make another declaration. The best response is to recognize and correct - and to do it now. Right now, the one hurt most directly is the government. If nothing is fixed, the price will be paid by this set of institutions and their leaders, including those hoping to govern them within two years.


*Manuel Camacho Solís, Coordinator of the Dialogue for the Reconstruction of Mexico (DIA)


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