Mexico Sending Extra Troops to Besieged Border City
By VOA News
26 February 2009
Mexican authorities say more troops and federal police are being deployed to the border city of Juarez to crack down on drug-related violence plaguing the area.
Officials say the federal government could send as many 5,000 more soldiers and police to the area, bringing the number there to more than 7,000. More than 2,400 members of the security forces already operate in the region.
Located across the border from the U.S. city of El Paso, Texas, Juarez is in the northern Mexican state of Chihuahua, where violence has escalated as gangs vie for trafficking routes into the United States.
Last week, Juarez's police chief, Roberto Orduna, resigned after drug gangs began carrying out threats to kill a police officer every 48 hours until he stepped down. Orduna had cracked down on the crime gangs and police corruption.
Mexican President Felipe Calderon has deployed thousands of soldiers to fight drug trafficking gangs across his country since taking office in 2006. Despite the effort, more than 6,000 people were killed last year in drug violence.
The increasing violence in Mexico has caused the U.S. State Department to renew a travel alert that warns Americans about the violent crime near the U.S.-Mexico border.
Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.
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