Drug Violence on the Rise in Mexico

The death toll continues to mount in Mexico’s drug battles. Three federal policemen are killed and another seriously injured, their vehicles attacked by a barrage of machine-gun fire from alleged drug gang hitmen in Michoacan. Days earlier, gunmen tossed a grenade into a taco restaurant killing a police officer and a 15-year old boy. On the same day in Ciuadad Juarez gunmen burst into a hotel and opened fired on patrons. Five people died. Drug dealers are even targeting drug rehabilitation centers. Hitmen recently opened fire on drug addicts at a center in Ciudad Juarez. Five people were killed. The drugs war killed more than 6000 people across Mexico in 2008 and 2500 people so far this year. Top drug fugitive Joaquin Guzman is fighting the dominant Juarez cartel for control of the region — a prized smuggling route to Texas. Authorities say one reason the violence is so rampant is because some law enforcement officials are on the payroll of the cartels. President Felipe Calderon’s recently ordered an investigation into police corruption. [Felipe Calderon, Mexican President]: “The investigations led by the Attorney General’s office, are corroborating the existence of networks protecting crime inside government institutions. That is the real problem.” US Attorney General Eric Holder says 90 percent of the weapons used in Mexico originate in the United States. [Attorney General Eric Holder]: “The reality is that too many weapons are flowing from the United States and



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