Uruapan, BC, Mexico
Police officer Eliezer Renteria frisks a driver during a traffic stop in Uruapan, Mexico on Aug. 27, 2009. Uruapan is a main corridor for traffickers moving their goods northward, so traffic stops sometimes turn into shootouts. The officers stopped this driver because he appeared to be weaving, but he was not charged with any violation.
Officer Gabriela Aguilar uses a handheld computer to check a driver's ID against a federal database. The computer and database are part of new federal efforts to better equip Mexico's municipal police forces.
City police officers Osiel Rojas and Rafael Trujillo patrol Uruapan, Mexico from the back of a police pickup truck on Sept. 1, 2009.
Photos of slain police officers are displayed in front of a picture of the Virgin of Guadalupe, Mexico's Roman Catholic patron, at the city police station in Uruapan, Mexico. Mexico's municipal police have limited authority and are often underpaid, poorly trained and badly equipped, but they are increasingly being swept up in the federal government's bloody crackdown on drug cartels.
Municipal police stand guard as Mexican soldiers and federal investigators prepare to enter a storehouse for chemicals used in making methamphetamine.
Municipal police watch as a federal agent collects evidence at a storehouse for chemicals used in making methamphetamine in Uruapan, Mexico. Uruapan's 500-member police force does not have a single detective or forensic expert of its own, even as the federal government calls on local police forces to take a greater role in the fight against drug gangs.
City police officers Raya, left, and Trujillo stand guard as a federal forensics expert takes samples at a storehouse for chemicals used in making methamphetamine.
Trujillo, left, stands guard with a Mexican soldier at a storehouse for chemicals used in making methamphetamine. Though they lack investigative powers and are often underpaid and poorly equipped, Mexico's city police are increasingly being swept up in the country's war against drug gangs.