MEXICO CITY, Dec. 3 (UPI) -- The U.S. Embassy found the Mexican army "slow and risk-averse" in fighting drug cartels, diplomatic cables revealed by WikiLeaks show.
The cables praised the Mexican government for its "unprecedented commitment" to take on the drug lords, but said the army is hobbled by corruption and untrained in patrolling the streets and gathering evidence, the BBC reported Friday.
A Jan. 29 cable complained sending the army into Ciudad Juarez had failed to stem violence.
The Mexican navy was considered more effective, particularly in an operation aided by U.S. intelligence where cartel leader Arturo Beltran Leyva was killed.
But security forces were often "locked in a zero-sum competition in which one agency's success is viewed as another's failure, information is closely guarded and joint operations are all but unheard of," the cable said.
A cable from October 2009 quotes Geronimo Gutierrez, then undersecretary of the interior, saying the government feared losing control of whole regions of the country.
"We have 18 months," he said, "and if we do not produce a tangible success that is recognizable to the Mexican people, it will be difficult to sustain this confrontation into the next administration."