Mexico sending more forces to Ciudad Juarez

Federal police arrive in Mexico’s most violent city, just across the border from El Paso, as part of a security buildup that is also to include thousands of additional soldiers.
(Miguel Tovar / Associated Press)

The Mexican government will deploy 1,000 more federal police officers as part of a wider effort to restore order in Ciudad Juarez, the nation’s most violent city, officials said Monday.

Some of those uniformed federal officers began arriving in the border city Monday, two days after about 2,000 soldiers landed there in a related military buildup. Those soldiers were the first of an expected 5,000 additional troops who will be sent to help perform basic police functions.

The military reinforcements will bring to more than 7,000 the number of soldiers in Ciudad Juarez.

The nation’s public safety chief, Genaro Garcia Luna, said that along with the soldiers, he planned to dispatch the additional 1,000 federal police officers, Notimex news agency reported.

About 425 federal officers already had been posted in Ciudad Juarez, where the death toll last year exceeded 1,600, the highest in a country racked by drug-related violence.

The border city is in the throes of a vicious turf war between a local drug-smuggling organization and rivals from the northwestern state of Sinaloa. The feud, and the Mexican government’s 2-year-old crackdown on organized crime, has sent killings soaring.

The city’s police chief, Roberto Orduna Cruz, resigned almost two weeks ago after several of his officers were shot to death and anonymous signs appeared warning that an officer would be killed every 48 hours unless he stepped down.

Mayor Jose Reyes Ferriz, who has also been the subject of anonymous handwritten threats, said last week that the army would take over basic policing duties, such as patrolling the streets.