Much of the seven-year cooperation between Mexico and the U.S. in fighting Mexico’s drug cartels, based on sharing sensitive intelligence, U.S. training, and joint operational planning, may be in jeopardy, reports the Washington Post. The December inauguration of President Enrique Peña Nieto brought the nationalistic Institutional Revolutionary Party back to power after 13 years, and with it resentment over the deep U.S. involvement in Mexico's fight against narco-traffickers.
The new administration has shifted priorities from the U.S.-backed strategy of arresting kingpins, which prompted an unprecedented level of violence among cartels, toward an emphasis on prevention and keeping Mexico's streets safe and calm, Mexican authorities said. Some U.S. officials fear the coming of an unofficial truce with cartel leaders. The Mexicans see it otherwise. “The objective of fighting organized crime is not in conflict with achieving peace,” said Eduardo Medina Mora, Mexico's ambassador to the United States. Interviews with four dozen current and former U.S. and Mexican diplomats, law enforcement agents, military officers. and intelligence officials paint a detailed public portrait of how the two countries grew close after many years of distance and distrust, and what is at stake should the alliance be scaled back.