NEWS

Mexican Army Sends 2,000 Troops to Violent Juarez

By Matthew Harwood

As violence spirals out of control in the Mexican border town of Cuidad Juarez, the Mexican government sent 2,000 rested troops there Monday as the murder toll this year surpassed 35, according to yesterday's El Paso Times.

The troops that arrived, however, were a regular rotation and not additional forces.

In the time between Monday and Tuesday, six men died violent deaths. In the goriest incident, according to the Times:

... a man, who had a gag on his mouth and an electrical cord tied to a wrist and who might have been stabbed, shot and run over by a vehicle, was found at about 9:30 p.m. on Viaducto Diaz Ordaz road west of downtown, police said.

Approximately 1,600 people were killed in Cuidad Juarez last year in a city of 1.3 million.

The violence, perpetrated by organized crime syndicates heavily involved in the drug trade, has hit such crisis proportions that a report from the U.S. Joint Forces Command projects Mexico may slide into anarchy, according to another article in the El Paso Times today.

The report stated:

... the [Mexican] government, its politicians, police, and judicial infrastructure are all under sustained assault and pressure by criminal gangs and drug cartels. How that internal conflict turns out over the next several years will have a major impact on the stability of the Mexican state. Any descent by Mexico into chaos would demand an American response based on the serious implications for homeland security alone."

In another recent report, retired Gen. Barry McCaffrey, the former drug czar under President Bill Clinton, concluded that Mexico “is on the edge of the abyss — it could become a narco state in the coming decade.’’

The violence on the Mexico border had grown so worrisome that Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff drew up a "surge" to flood trouble spots with border officers and state and local law enforcement to stop any violence from spilling over into America, according to The New York Times last week.  

The plan reportedly did not rule out the use of the U.S. military if federal, state, and local law enforcement could not contain the violence.

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