Mexican troops take drug fight to Tijuana streets


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TIJUANA, Mexico (AP) -- Soldiers and federal police poured into the violent border city of Tijuana Wednesday, manning checkpoints and inspecting local police stations as part of President Felipe Calderon's latest offensive against powerful drug gangs.

Backed by helicopters, planes and boats, the force descending on the city across the border from San Diego will eventually consist of 3,300 troops, Mexico's government has said. It was not clear exactly how many had entered Tijuana by Wednesday night.

Soldiers went into at least two local police stations and checked the papers and weapons of hundreds of officers.

Federal investigators allege there is a corrupt network of police in the city supporting traffickers who smuggle tons of cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana over the busy border crossing into the United States. There were no immediate reports of arrests by the soldiers.

Tijuana Mayor Jorge Hank Rhon has welcomed the troops but some residents complained about the military checkpoints in the city.

"It's good that they do these operations, but this seems a bit over the top," said Raul Gonzales after soldiers ordered him out of his car and searched him from head to toe on Wednesday. "I'm just going out with my family."

Dubbed "Operation Tijuana," the mobilization is the second major military offensive against drug gangs by Calderon, who took office on December 1 promising to crack down on organized crime.

Calderon said, "if we continue working as we have been until now, our cities and our land will not remain in the hands of criminals."

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As much as I would have rathered that Obrador had taken the election, these moves by Calderon are definetly good ones. I don't like the bull**** ineffective drug laws in the states, but offensives like this are what is needed to effect change. Don't bust useless users, bust the dealers cops, and producers that make the drugs possible.

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