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WikiLeaks on Latin America: A cache on Mexico

November 30, 2010 | 12:24 pm

WikiLeaks has amassed 2,836 classified or secret records relating to Mexico, but the website has made no announcement on when or if any of those records will be released.

The Mexico records were discussed briefly in an online chat on Monday with the editor of the Spanish daily El Pais, which has been publishing some of the leaked U.S. diplomatic cables (link in Spanish). The editor, Javier Moreno, says the Mexico records are related to "the war against drug trafficking." Moreno defended El Pais' decision to publish leaked U.S. cables, saying  his newspaper's job is "not to protect governments."

He did not say whether El Pais will be publishing any records on Mexico.

On Monday, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton called the leaking of the diplomatic cables "an attack on America's foreign policy interests" and said her office would not be commenting on the contents of any specific leaked documents.

The Mexico records obtained by WikiLeaks originate mostly from the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City, but also come from consulates in Ciudad Juarez, Tijuana, Monterrey, Guadalajara and other cities, reports El Universal (link in Spanish).

The United States has a deep diplomatic and intelligence infrastructure in Mexico, with field offices inside the country for the Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Marshals Service, FBI and other agencies. As reported previously by La Plaza, the United States and Mexico opened a joint office in Mexico City in August to oversee the implementation of the Merida Initiative, the multiyear aid package to help Mexico confront powerful narcotrafficking groups in a conflict that has left 30,000 dead over four years.

"Neither officials from Mexico or the United States working in the Bilateral Implementation Office will engage in intelligence or operational activities," the State Department said in its August statement announcing the office.

-- Daniel Hernandez in Mexico City