Michael Webster
March 4, 2009
Mexico sending more emergency troops to Ciudad Juarez
By Michael Webster

THE EL PASO/JUAREZ METRO-BORDERPLEX More Mexican solders being rushed to Ciudad Juarez, the increase triples the law enforcement presence in the Mexican city across from El Paso Texas, which has been racked by drug violence. Where the police chief was assassinated and where many police have been killed. The current police chief just quit and its mayor and his family are in El Paso after receiving threats.

Due to out of control Mexican Drug Cartel violence in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, the Mexican President has ordered at least 5,000 more troops to be rushed to the border city the U.S. Border Fire Report has learned.

The specially trained reinforcements triples the number of federal troops and law enforcement officers operating on the streets of CD. Juarez which is a border city with a population of over two million.

The city is without a police chief. Roberto Orduņa Cruz quit last week after several officers were slain and Mexican Drug Cartel lords posted threats saying more would be killed unless he stepped down.

Last week hundreds of Juarez citizens protested saying the Army was not doing enough to protect the people and complaining that the solders are corrupt. So Wednesday President Calderon sent top Mexican security officials to Ciudad Juarez to try and reassure local leaders and the citizens of the city. They vowed to provide more protection and promised to significantly boost the federal presence in the city right away.

A little more than 2,000 soldiers and 425 federal police officers are assigned to Juarez in addition to local police, army spokesman Enrique Torres said. He said the reinforcements could begin to arrive in days rather than weeks.

Ciudad Juarez Mayor Jose Reyes Ferriz said the added troops would give the military a higher profile by taking control of police functions, including street patrols. Currently, soldiers tend highway checkpoints, guard crime scenes and take part in special operations, such as house searches.

The move represents a continuation of Calderon's strategy of relying on the army and federal police to counter drug-trafficking gangs in the country's main smuggling corridors. He had deployed 45,000 soldiers and 5,000 police officers across the nation as part of the crackdown, launched two years ago.

Many feel that the Calderon offensive has sparked a civil war and increased bloody shootouts between soldiers and the Mexican Drug Cartels and triggered out of control vicious fighting between drug lords and their gangs that has propelled the country's alarming fast-climbing death toll. More than 6,000 people were slain in 2008, and more than 1000 deaths so far this year.

Ciudad Juarez, which had about 1,600 killings last year, has been on edge over the police chief's resignation and threats that appeared over the weekend against the mayor and his family.

Reyes and other officials have described the police slayings and threats as "acts of terrorism."

In a radio interview, Reyes said the city's 1,600-member police force was too small even before officers were ordered to double up in patrol cars after the recent threats. A beefed-up military contingent will help combat other crimes, such as robberies, kidnappings and extortion, the mayor said.

Reyes has vowed to continue trying to clean up the city's corruption-laden police force, which, like many in Mexico, has been infiltrated by the Mexican Drug Cartels.

© Michael Webster


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Michael Webster

Michael Webster's Syndicated Investigative Reports are read worldwide, in 100 or more U.S. outlets and in at least 136 countries and territories. He publishes articles in association with global news agencies and media information services with more than 350 news affiliates in 136 countries... (more)


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