Mexico said that it has deployed 7,600 soldiers in the Pacific coast state of Guerrero to neutralize drug gangs who have committed atrocities such as beheadings and perpetrated violence in resort haven Acapulco. President Felipe Calderon revealed that he has also dispatched another 10,000 troops to two other states since he took office in December 1, 2006 to stem increased organized crime activity that has claimed the lives of at least 2000 people.
Soldiers will perform random checks on vehicles, destroy 3000 drug plantations in Southern states, and challenge the under-world gangs with weapons if necessary. Already, prosecutors say that they have arrested Pedro Diaz Parada who operates a major cartel from the southeastern state of Oaxaca. Previous attempts by former President Vicente Fox using similar methods failed to stem violence or drug trafficking.
Politicians at the state level are part of the problem since they look for short term profits instead of long term stability. Guerrero Governor Zeferino Torreblanca asked Calderon not to ask the troops to patrol beaches since he is worried that the presence of the Army may kill tourism in Acapulco. Many crime watchers and anti-drug activists say that police and the bureaucracy at the local level collude with drug manufacturers and traffickers. Calderon has already initiated action for soldiers to take over police stations and inspect weapons and documents of police officers suspected of protecting smugglers.