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Mexican attorney general resigns

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-03-31

Mexican Attorney General Arturo Chavez (pictured) resigned Thursday after 18 months in the job. His sudden departure has raised questions over the Calderon administration's ability to crackdown on organised crime in Mexico.

AP- Mexican Attorney General Arturo Chavez Chavez has resigned, a government official told The Associated Press on Thursday.

President Felipe Calderon was expected to announce the departure later in the day, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to disclose the information.

Chavez is the second attorney general to resign under Calderon, who took office in December 2006. He was appointed in 2009 after the departure of Eduardo Medina Mora, one of the main architects of Calderon’s crackdown on drug trafficking and organized crime. More than 34,600 people have been killed since Calderon’s administration launched the campaign shortly after he became president.

While Medina Mora was constantly in the public eye, Chavez has maintained a low profile as the country’s chief prosecutor.

U.S. Embassy officials in Mexico City found Chavez’s appointment to be “totally unexpected and politically inexplicable,” according to a diplomatic cable from September 2009 posted by WikiLeaks three weeks ago.

The dispatch noted that Chavez, former top prosecutor in the border state of Chihuahua, “has strong detractors within the Mexican human rights community” because he oversaw botched investigations into the murders of women in the 1990s in Ciudad Juarez, a violent city across the border from El Paso, Texas.

Medina Mora had been unable to work with the head of federal police, Genaro Garcia Luna, according to a leaked cable from October 2009.

The September cable suggested Chavez “is a less capable political operator, who will be overshadowed by Garcia Luna and stymied by his considerable human rights baggage.”

Chavez’s departure had been rumored for weeks. There was no information Thursday on a possible replacement, who must be nominated by Calderon and ratified by the Mexican senate.

Mexican news media have suggested that it could be Marisela Morales, who heads the organized crime unit of the Attorney General’s Office.

Morales was the recipient of a 2011 International Women of Courage Award, which was presented in Washington earlier this month by U.S. first lady Michelle Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Date created : 2011-03-31