U.S. diplomats were surprised and baffled by the appointment of Mexican Attorney General Arturo Chávez Chávez and by the infighting among President Felipe Calderón's top security aides, according to U.S. diplomatic cables released Wednesday by WikiLeaks to Mexican newspaper La Jornada.
Chávez Chávez's predecessor had been unable to work with the head of federal police, Genaro García 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 García Luna hindered drug enforcement efforts," as well as "the capacity to prosecute criminals," according to a copy of the cable posted by La Jornada, which obtained it from WikiLeaks.
Previously leaked cables have angered Calderón and created friction between him and the U.S. Embassy. Calderón said last month that the allegations of infighting and division "have done a lot of damage." In October, Calderón said similar accusations "create ill-feeling within our own team."
Another embassy cable from September 2009 called Chávez Chávez'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 Juárez in the 1990s, when he was the top state prosecutor.
The cable suggested Chávez Chávez "is a less capable political operator, who will be overshadowed by García Luna and stymied by his considerable human rights baggage."
The cables hinted that the diplomats favored García Luna in the bureaucratic turf battle between the Attorney General's Office and the federal police.
"García 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."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.