Leaked U.S. diplomatic cables released Wednesday indicate that U.S. officials were baffled by the appointment of Mexican Attorney General Arturo Chavez Chavez and repeat claims of infighting among President Felipe Calderon's top security aides.
Chavez Chavez's predecessor as attorney general had been unable to work with the head of federal police, Genaro Garcia Luna, according to an October 2009 cable from the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City.
"The inability of (Eduardo) Medina Mora to strategize and work together with Garcia Luna hindered drug enforcement efforts," as well as "the capacity to prosecute criminals," according to a copy of the cable posted by Mexican newspaper La Jornada, which obtained it from WikiLeaks.
Previously leaked cables have angered Calderon and created friction between him and the U.S. Embassy. Calderon said last month that the allegations of infighting and division "have done a lot of damage." In October, Calderon said similar accusations "create ill-feeling within our own team."
Another embassy cable from September 2009 called Chavez Chavez's nomination "totally unexpected and politically inexplicable."
It noted that he "has strong detractors within the Mexican human rights community" because of botched prosecutions in the murders of women in the northern Mexico border city of Ciudad Juarez in the 1990s, when he was the top state prosecutor.
The cable suggested Chavez Chavez "is a less capable political operator, who will be overshadowed by Garcia Luna and stymied by his considerable human rights baggage."
The cables hinted that the diplomats favored Garcia Luna in the bureaucratic turf battle between the Attorney General's Office and the federal police.
"Garcia Luna has been a trusted liaison, partner and friend of the FBI. ... His attitude toward the U.S. is friendly," the cable said.
U.S. and Mexican officials have refused to comment on the specifics of leaked communications. In December, Mexico's federal security spokesman, Alejandro Poire, said that the cables "in many cases, reflect personal points of view, are inexact, or taken out of context."