Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton left Washington for a quick trip to Mexico on Monday to reinforce ties, at a time when drug-related violence has surged despite increasing U.S. and Mexican efforts to combat it.
Although Mexican President Felipe Calderon has deployed tens of thousands of soldiers to keep order, Mexico suffered 15,273 deaths related to drug traffickers last year – a nearly 60 percent increase from the previous year, according to government statistics released this month.
Both U.S. and Mexican officials say bilateral cooperation has never been better. But tensions have risen in recent weeks with the release of State Department cables by the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks that portray some U.S. frustration with Mexico’s anti-drug efforts.
As if to underline the corrosive, drip-drip nature of the cables on U.S. diplomacy, new documents were released Sunday by the Spanish newspaper El Pais – and quickly featured by Mexican media. While they contained no explosive revelations, the cables shone a light on Mexico’s close cooperation with Washington, still a delicate subject in a country whose politicians and media are strongly nationalistic.