Franco Ordonez
McClatchy Newspapers
March 29, 2008

MEXICO CITY — Nearly 1,000 Mexican troops arrived at the Ciudad Juarez airport Friday to deal with a surge in drug war violence that’s sent tremors throughout the country, local media reported.

Mexican authorities said they’re part of the more than 2,000 soldiers and federal policemen involved in “Operation Joint Chihuahua” who are being dispatched to combat narcotrafficking operations that have terrorized much of the state of Chihuahua, particularly Ciudad Juarez, Palomas and the city of Chihuahua, the state capital.

More than 200 people have been killed in the area, which borders El Paso, Texas, since the beginning of the year, according to local media reports. Thirty were killed over the Easter weekend.

“Today, in the state of Chihuahua and particularly in the border zone of Ciudad Juarez, we face circumstances of violence that burdens and worries us all,” Attorney General Eduardo Medina Mora said Thursday at a news conference announcing additional military forces. “The problem, and it is necessary to call it by name, is organized crime and specifically the crimes of drugs at all levels that have been established, live and operate business in this zone.”

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