MEXICO CITY, April 1 (UPI) -- Mexico's attorney general, under fire for his handling of the spiraling drug war, has resigned.
Arturo Chavez quit Thursday, President Felipe Calderon confirmed, for "urgent personal reasons," the BBC reported.
Calderon is nominating prosecutor Marisela Morales, who will be Mexico's first female attorney general, to replace Chavez.
Morales recently received the International Women of Courage Award from the U.S. government for her bravery fighting drug cartels.
Chavez is the second attorney general to quit since Calderon began using the army to fight traffickers in 2006. Drug violence has claimed some 35,000 lives since.
Chavez has been heavily criticized for failing to solve a wave of killings of women in Ciudad Juarez as chief prosecutor in Chihuahua, and in a diplomatic cable revealed by WikiLeaks, U.S. Ambassador Carlos Pascual called his appointment "totally unexpected and politically inexplicable," the Los Angeles Times reported.
Chavez also has been hurt by revelations that American officials let guns be smuggled to known Mexican traffickers in an operation to find drug lords. He avoided testifying before the Mexican Congress on his knowledge of the program.