05/18/11 – Tamaulipas Governor Egidio Torre Cantú recently announced that 500 Mexican soldiers will be sent to the northern border state of Tamaulipas where they will join 3,200 already stationed soldiers. They will work with the Tamaulipas Public Safety Office and in coordination with the state police as part of President Felipe Calderón’s strategy to quell narco-violence and drug trafficking.
Such an addition will serve two purposes, stated Mexico’s Public Safety spokesman Alejandro Poiré. “Together, the state and federal government, we will decrease criminal activity and achieve true peace,” Poiré first noted. Second, the presence of the soldiers will give the police departments the space to continue their evaluation and professionalization process of local police forces, Monitor reported. “The added manpower will help speed up the depuration of state and local police departments,” said Poiré.
The increase in soldiers coincides with a recent increase in violence in Tamaulipas, which has been caused by rising competition, tension, and fighting between the Tamaulipas-based Gulf Cartel and Los Zetas, two former allied criminal organizations that split in February 2010. Governor Torre Cantú’s announcement also comes recently on the heels of last week’s National March for Peace, in which the protestors demanded a change in Calderón’s military-centered approach to fighting drug trafficking. As the addition of soldiers suggests, “Mexico’s government has shown no signs of changing its strategy,” states C.N.N.
More information on the National March for Peace can found here.