After violence escalated two weeks ago, leaving 17 people dead in north Mexico in one day, the Mexican Government escalated its presence in the region to war-sized proportions. Mexican President Felipe Calderon has already deployed roughly 45,000 Mexican troops and tens of thousands of police throughout to quell the rampant drug trade the country, and sent thousands more to the state of Michoacan after the eruption in violence.
However, many have spoken out against the occupation by Mexican troops, saying that the Mexican government is acting unilaterally, and that the government of Michoacan never made a request for more troops to be sent to the region. An alleged drug cartel leader also complained that the troops were targeting families of cartel members, though the government denied that.
The uncertain effectiveness of the immense military and police retaliation has left the Mexican government unmoved.
Interior Secretary Fernando Gómez Mont said in a press conference in Ciudad Juarez last week he believed they would continue implementing the strategy, unless the cartels changed their tactics.
In the month of July, 244 people were killed in Juarez due to the drug trade there. The Mexican Social Security Institute reported that that the unemployment rate had shown a slight recovery after a year of continuous falls.
Holly LaFon has written and worked for various local publications including D Magazine and Examiner.