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Diplomat quits post in Mexico

Sun., March 20, 2011, midnight

WASHINGTON – U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Carlos Pascual, who criticized his host government’s handling of the drug problem in a cable divulged by the WikiLeaks website, has resigned, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Saturday.

President Felipe Calderon, who met earlier this month with Obama at the White House, had taken umbrage publicly in February over remarks Pascual made in a diplomatic cable about the Mexicans’ handling of the anti-drug trafficking effort there.

Clinton took the unusual step of announcing the departure of an individual member of the diplomatic corps, and while she was on the road, meeting with U.S. allies in Paris.

In a newspaper interview published in late February, Calderon said that U.S.-Mexico relations had been strained because of the leaks of cables.

He specifically cited Pascual’s cable, which he suggested was disparaging of Mexico. The cable said there was little coordination among Mexican federal agencies assigned to battle drug gangs, including Mexico’s army, navy and federal police.

Clinton did not specifically cite Pascual’s cable in a detailed statement released by the State Department late Saturday.


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