Photo: Courtesy of Borderland Beat
Mexico has deployed 2,800 soldiers to the state of Tamaulipas along the Texas border, in an effort to purge corruption in local police forces.The troops have replaced most civilian officers in about 22 Tamaulipas cities and towns, including Nuevo Laredo, Reynosa, Matamoros, as well as Ciudad Victoria, the state capital. The military is now conducting interviews and drug tests on officers to determine who stays and who goes, according to the Brownsville Herald.
The government holds that the military presence will help decrease drug related violence in the state. More than 1,000 people have been killed in Tamaulipas since the beginning of 2010, when bloody turf wars broke out between Los Zetas cartel and their former bosses, the powerful Gulf Cartel.
Global intelligence firm STRATFOR notes that the militarization of local police forces has done little to reduce violence in other parts of Mexico, as many of the laid off officers end up working for the cartels.
In Juarez, murders have actually gone up since the military took over in March 2009; there were 3,200 murders in 2010, up from 2,650 in 2009 and 1,600 in 2008.
More than 36,000 people have died from drug-related violence in Mexico since President Felipe Calderon first ordered the military crackdown on the country’s organised crime networks.
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