MEXICO CITY — U.S. Ambassador Tony Garza's comment that he closed a consulate in part to punish Mexico's government for border violence drew a sharp response Wednesday from Mexico.
Deputy Foreign Secretary Geronimo Gutierrez said Mexico's government agreed that Garza had to work for the security of U.S. citizens, but said: "His selection of words was frankly unfortunate and does not correspond to the role of an ambassador."
Garza's comment, Tuesday night at the University of Denver, followed a series of criticisms of Mexico's ability to secure the border region. Mexican officials have argued that the United States shares responsibility for a problem ignited by drug consumption north of the border.
Early this month, Garza closed the Nuevo Laredo consulate for a week after dozens of drug-related killings, the assassination of the police chief and a machine-gun, grenade and rocket attack on an alleged drug safe house.