February 26, 2009
Mexico will deploy extra troops and federal police to this violent city across the border from Texas where the police chief recently bowed to crime gang demands that he resign, the government said Wednesday.
Interior Secretary Fernando Gomez-Mont did not say how many more soldiers and police would be sent to Ciudad Juarez but promised that the reinforcements “would be visible to the residents.”
Gomez-Mont said the agents would be deployed in the coming weeks. His comments came after a meeting with officials in Ciudad Juarez, a city of 1.3 million inhabitants across the border from El Paso that has been battered by a wave of drug cartel-related violence.
More than 2,000 soldiers and 425 federal police are already operating in Chihuahua state, where Ciudad Juarez is located. The deployment is part of a nationwide crackdown on drug cartels that has grown to include more than 45,000 troops since President Felipe Calderon took office in 2006.
Drug violence has surged since the government launched the offensive, claiming 6,000 lives in 2008. Some 1,600 of those killings were in Ciudad Juarez.