How Wikileaks Revealed Mexico–US Drug-War Dynamic
Thousands of revealed US-Mexico cables have led many to criticize Calderón's stance and the two governments' relationship.
Mexican President Felipe Calderón will end his term this December, leaving a largely unsavory legacy. Much of the public is critical of his role in a devastating drug war that has claimed tens of thousands of lives since he took office in 2006.
Local media struggle to cover the violence -- often under threat of violence -- and are often denied access to privileged information about decisions and incidents that take place "behind the scenes." Wikileaks has changed this -- allowing the public more insight into national drug war strategies.
In recent years, Wikileaks has made thousands of State Department cables -- "secret" communications between the US Embassy and Washington -- accessible to the public. These records have been picked up by Mexican news sources, shedding light on aspects of the political relationship between Mexico and the US that officials would otherwise have kept hidden.
One prominent Mexican journalist, Blanche Petrich Moreno, says the records "revealed the astonishing degree to which the United States exercised its power and influence at the highest levels of the mexican government." This isn't a new development, he claims, but the records confirm what was already widely believed: that many decisions about how to handle the drug war were made not by Mexico -- but by the US.
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