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Mexico to widen drug sweeps to two states bordering Texas

February 19, 2007|From the Associated Press

MEXICO CITY — The Mexican government will expand its drug raids to two states bordering Texas, deploying more than 3,000 soldiers, sailors and federal police, officials said Sunday.

The raids will cover Nuevo Laredo, a town across the border from Laredo, Texas, that has been bloodied by turf wars between drug gangs.

Officials also said that in the two months since intensive raids began in central and western Mexico, they had destroyed almost as many opium fields as plots of marijuana, long Mexico's principal drug crop.

"We have begun a frontal struggle against organized crime that has no precedent in the country's history," said Interior Secretary Francisco Ramirez Acuna. "We are recovering territory for our children."

The raids began Dec. 8 in the western state of Michoacan, and have been expanded to several other states.

Starting over the weekend, 2,035 soldiers, 750 navy personnel and 516 federal police were dispatched to Tamaulipas state, home to the border cities of Nuevo Laredo, Reynosa and Matamoros, and to the bordering state of Nuevo Leon, where shootings of police have become more common.

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