Sep 21, 2012

Mexico deploys troops to outskirts of Mexico City


(Reuters) - Mexico has sent soldiers to patrol a suburb of Mexico City for the first time to combat a rise in drug-related violence that is beginning to encroach on the capital.

From late Wednesday, a combined force of around 1,000 soldiers, federal police and local police took to the streets of Nezahualcoyotl on the capital's eastern flank, which has suffered from a dispute between two rival drug cartels.

Mexican President Felipe Calderon's fight against drug gangs has overshadowed his administration, and the deployment in Nezahualcoyotl brings the conflict into the home state of his successor Enrique Pena Nieto, who takes office in December.

The local government's request for troops in the sprawling municipality in the State of Mexico follows the murder there this weekend of Jaime Serrano, a local state congressman and member of Pena Nieto's Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).

Some Nezahualcoyotl residents told Reuters they had been extorted by criminals identifying themselves as members of the La Familia drug gang.

"Things are getting worse and worse here," said one local man, who asked not to be named. "People here have got used to paying these people (the cartels). If you don't, they say they're going to kill you and your family." Read more. 

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