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Mexican cartel seeks revenge, escalates drug war
Within minutes of the weekend arrest of the La Familia drug cartel's operations chief, the gang launched deadly attacks in President Felipe Calderon's home state. In the worst, 12 federal agents were killed execution-style, their tortured bodies piled along a roadside as a warning for all to see.
The attacks following the weekend capture of Arnoldo Rueda spread quickly to at least 10 cities, including towns in two neighboring states. Officers' hotels were shot up. Grenades were tossed at police posts.
At least 18 federal agents and two soldiers were killed in the attacks and ambushes. Nearly two dozen officers were wounded.
Near the bloodied bodies of the 12 agents dumped in a heap Monday off a mountain highway near La Huacana was a message: "Let's see if you try to arrest another one."
It was a blatant challenge to Calderon, who has deployed federal police and troops in an attempt to halt the country's escalating drug trade.
"The arrests of dangerous leaders by the federal government in recent months is seriously affecting their operations and generating chaos in their ranks," Calderon said. "Thus the violent and desperate reaction that we've seen these days."
Government critics said the offensive revealed that federal forces are unprepared for the battle against heavily armed crime syndicates with extensive intelligence networks embedded within police forces.
They also said it undermines Calderon's repeated claims that violence shows the thugs are on the run.
A cartoon in the left-leaning La Jornada newspaper Wednesday depicted a bound and blindfolded policeman with a gun to his head. "Don't worry," says a tied-up colleague kneeling beside him. "It's just another desperate action by organized crime because they're cornered."
Somewhere along the line the players got mixed up. In Mexico the cartels are making war on the government over drugs; and in the US the govt is making war on it's citizens over drugs. Let's send the DEA to Mexico & let them battle it out.
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