Friday, January 05, 2007

Tijuana police force to turn over weapons

Mexico: As 3000 mexican soliders and federal agents arrive to try and clean up the place.

TIJUANA – The city's entire 2,300-member municipal police force has been ordered to turn in its weapons, leaving doubt Thursday about who would be patrolling this city of more than 1.5 million residents. The surprise directive from Mexico's Defense Secretariat comes a day after President Felipe Calderon ordered Operation Tijuana, a major offensive against organized crime in the city. More than 3,000 soldiers and federal agents are being sent to the city with the aim of tackling the city's crime problems. Federal officials were expected to conduct ballistics tests on the weapons, apparently to see if they could link any of the weapons to the many killings that have been attributed to drug cartels. Dozens of police officers carrying a range of handguns and automatic weapons lined up Thursday at department headquarters on Eighth Street. The Mexican military, which maintains a registry of weapons, routinely checks police weapons, and officers initially thought this was a regular check. Federal officials have repeatedly said corruption is widespread in Tijuana's department, which is charged with responsible for maintaining public order in the city.

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