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Reply #47: Grandstanding aside- it looks more and more like the cartels are strengthening [View All]

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depakid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-27-09 05:01 PM
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47. Grandstanding aside- it looks more and more like the cartels are strengthening
Mexico to send more troops to besieged city

Mexico is sending up to 5,000 new troops and federal police to the country's most violent city, where law and order is on the brink of collapse in a war between gangs supplying drugs to the United States. The army said on Thursday the deployment could take the number of soldiers and federal police to over 7,000 in Ciudad Juarez, which is across the U.S. border from El Paso, Texas.

This month alone, drug hitmen killed 250 people in Juarez, where a meeting of cabinet members on Wednesday was rattled by three bomb scares, forcing soldiers to briefly shut the city's international airport. "In yesterday's meeting (government officials) talked about sending 5,000 troops and police to Ciudad Juarez," said army spokesman Enrique Torres. "They are expected to arrive in the next few weeks."

At the heavily guarded meeting on Wednesday, Interior Minister Fernando Gomez Mont had said the troop reinforcements would be "notable" but declined to give more details. Torres said there were 2,020 troops and 425 federal police in Ciudad Juarez, a city of around 1.6 million people.

Drug trade analysts say Mexico's most-wanted fugitive, Joaquin "Shorty" Guzman, who leads a cartel from the Pacific state of Sinaloa, wants control of Ciudad Juarez, currently in the hands of local drug lord Vicente Carrillo Fuentes.

Law and order in Ciudad Juarez is close to collapse as Guzman's hitmen seek to destroy the Juarez cartel's entire operation, drug experts say, and kidnappings and extortions of business people are rampant.

More: http://www.reuters.com/article/latestCrisis/idUSN262704...
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