Mexico’s Attorney General Resigns Under Pressure

The New York TimesMEXICO CITY — Mexico’s attorney general, a close ally of President Enrique Peña Nieto, resigned on Monday, handing victory to a broad coalition of social groups that have demanded an autonomous prosecutor.

From the moment he was appointed a year ago, Attorney General Raúl Cervantes was a lightning rod.

He leaves office as Mexico’s homicide rate has climbed to its highest level since officials began keeping comparable records 20 years ago. Seventeen former state governors are under investigation on corruption charges, but only three cases have gone to trial.

Many Mexicans have lost faith in their police and prosecutors; a government survey shows that about nine of 10 crimes go unreported. Even the highest-profile cases, like the disappearance of 43 teachers college students in southern Mexico three years ago, seem to defy resolution. …

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During the last several decades, the United States has invested billions of dollars in trying to help the governments of Latin America and the Caribbean deliver better lives for their citizens. This has meant helping them increase internal security by combating the illicit growing and trafficking in narcotics and the activities of terrorist groups, as well as helping them to shore up their democratic and free market institutions.

Unfortunately, in recent years, continued progress in these areas has been threatened, not least by the elections of radical populist governments in Venezuela, Bolivia, and Ecuador. These governments have instituted retrograde agendas that include the propagation of class warfare, state domination of the economy, assaults on private property, anti-Americanism, support for such international pariahs as Iran, and lackluster support for regional counter-terrorism and counter-narcotics initiatives.

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