Mexico's 2012 Presidential Election and U.S.-Mexico Relations

The U.S.-Mexico bilateral relationship in recent months has been plagued by a series of highly sensitive issues. In December, Wikileaks postings revealed U.S. embassy dispatches critical of Mexico’s war on drug cartels and characterizing prospective presidential candidates from the National Action Party as weak. That led to a breakdown of trust between U.S. ambassador Carlos Pascual and Mexican president Felipe Calderón. Then came the murder of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent Jaime Zapata by drug cartels, just prior to Calderón’s trip to Washington to discuss bilateral relations with U.S. president Barack Obama. On the heels of the trip came Operation Fast and Furious, a U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms sting that allegedly misdirected some 1,700 weapons to Mexican traffickers.

Duncan Wood