Mexico deploys troops to US border

Rising drugs violence prompts government to send in a 2,500-strong force.

    Calderon has already sent about 25,000 security personnel to combat drugs violence in Mexico [EPA]

    Guillermo Galvan, the defence minister, said that the military force will be supported by "180 tactical military vehicles, three airplanes and 13
    molecular [drug] detection units".

     

    Cartel battles

     

    There is already a low profile contingent of about 500 troops in Juarez but analysts say that this light military presence has been taken advantage of by the drugs cartels who control lucrative trade routes into the US.

     

    Authorities say around 200 people have been killed in drug violence in Juarez so far this year, 10 times the number of deaths than in 2007.

     

    Some of the victims were shot dead on busy streets in broad daylight or brutally tortured and then strangled.

     

    Police say Mexico's most wanted man, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, who leads the Sinaloa cartel on the Pacific coast, is currently targeting Juarez's cartel in a bid to take control of its smuggling routes.

     

    The Juarez cartel was weakened by the 1997 death of its leader Amado Carrillo Fuentes, and is also being attacked by eastern Mexico's Gulf cartel.

     

    Juarez is already notorious for its high number of violent murders of women, many of which remain unsolved.


    Mexico's drug turf wars have killed some 720 people so far this year and more than 2,500 people in 2007, Reuters news agency reported.

    Felipe Calderon, the president of Mexico, has sent out about 25,000 troops and federal police to fight drug gangs since taking office in December 2006.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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