January 3, 2007 [LINK / comment]
The Mexican government is sending 3,300 soldiers and federal police to fight narcotraffic gangs in Tijuana, where some of the most vicious gang violence has taken place in recent years. President Felipe Calderon, who was inaugurated just one month ago, had previously sent 7,000 troops to deal with gangs in the western state of Michoacan, his home. See CNN.com. The border near San Diego is already very tense because of the clampdown on illegal immigration by the United States; thousands of would-be Mexican emigrants are trapped and desperate. This deployment of forces happens to coincide with a similar situation taking place in Brazil. The challenge will be to avoid exposing the troops to the temptation of bribes offered by narcotraffickers, which is the apparent reason for repeated cases of uniformed Mexican security personnel assisting with the smuggling of humans and drugs across the border.