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Defense Secretary Gates calls for Mexican border security

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As violence flares in Mexico's drug war, threatening security on the US border, US Defense Secretary Robert Gates made a historic trip to Mexico this week as part of the Pentagon's push for Latin American countries to deploy more military resources against drug trafficking. It's also part of a security effort to shore up potential threats that could emerge from militants crossing the border.

Shootouts in Tijuana, Mexico's most violent city, are nothing new. But a recent firefight between drug cartels was one of the more violent episodes, Reuters reports.

Mexico's government sent more than 3,000 soldiers and federal police to Tijuana on Tuesday, stepping up a war against violent drug smugglers after 17 gunmen were killed in a street battle between cartels.

The move is part of a broader deployment of soldiers that Mexico's president, Felipe Calderón, has initiated at Washington's behest. Mr. Calderon has sent 24,000 military and security forces to areas overrun by drug gangs; Mexico drug trade resulted more than 2,500 deaths in 2007, reported The Christian Science Monitor.


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