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Drug War Spreads in Mexico to Northeast Section: Cops Beheaded, Journalists Abducted

While the U.S. fights battles in Afghanistan and Iraq, another war far closer threatens the safety of people in the U.S. — the drug war in Mexico where murder of police is common place. Now the war there is spreading. The money is too good for it to simply die off. More needs to be done on both sides of the border.

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By William Booth
Washington Post Foreign Service

LOS ALDAMAS, Mexico — Javier Martinez Gonzalez may have thought himself a lucky man as he arrived in pressed khakis for his first day of work as a police officer in this little country town.

Half an hour later, masked men dragged him from the station. His body was later found in a patch of weeds alongside those of two fellow officers. Their killings early this month marked a dangerous new front in Mexico’s battle against drug gangs in the borderlands south of Texas.

More than 22,000 people have died in drug-related violence in Mexico since President Felipe Calderón unleashed his war on traffickers in December 2006, according to a confidential government report circulated last week, a toll that far exceeds previous media estimates.

The northeastern states along the Gulf of Mexico had been mostly quiet as drug cartels and the Mexican military fought farther west. But powerful and warring crime syndicates have now launched a campaign of terror here, abducting journalists, beheading police officers and assaulting military garrisons.

Read the full story.


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