Sunday, December 20, 2009

President Calderon Using Elite Naval Forces

As has been reported here extensively, two hundred sailors raided an upscale apartment complex and killed one of Mexico's top kingpins in a two-hour gun battle Wednesday, one of the biggest victories yet in Mexican President Felipe Calderon's drug war.


President Felipe Calderon, who is attending the climate summit in Copenhagen, reportedly called the Beltran Leyva death "a resounding blow against one of the most dangerous criminal organizations in Mexico, and on the continent.” The government had offered a $2-million reward for information leading to his capture.

Faced with ever-worsening drug cartel violence, President Felipe Calderon is turning to elite navy troops to help reignite his floundering army-led drug war. Analysts say the navy's special training and small size make it more effective and less at risk of leaking operational information on important raids than the army or police.


By bringing naval troops into the drug fight, however, Calderon risks exposing them to the corrupting power of drug gangs who have long infiltrated the police and are now doing the same with parts of the army.

During the last three years, Calderon has deployed more than 45,000 troops, including Mexico's navy slodiers, to fight drug traffickers throughout the country.

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