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To tame drug violence, Mexican general takes control of chaotic Michoacan

As part of President Enrique Pena Nieto's strategy against drug violence, Alberto Reyes, a Mexican general was given control over all police and military operations in the western state of Michoacan.

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Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto speaks during a joint news conference with President Barack Obama, in Mexico City May 2.

Dario Lopez-Mills/AP

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A Mexican general took over all police and military operations in a chaotic western state on Thursday in a test run of President Enrique Pena Nieto's new security strategy to tame raging drug violence.

Alberto Reyes assumed control of all federal, state and city police forces, as well as military units in Michoacan, one of the most violent states in the country, after he was named the state's new security minister.

Big swaths of Michoacan have fallen under the sway of criminal gangs who are fighting among themselves and against authorities. Former President Felipe Calderon launched his military-led crackdown on drug cartels there in 2006.

Pena Nieto, who took office in December, has vowed to reduce the violence that has exploded in Mexico in the last decade by battling crime rather than hunting down drug lords.

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