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Mexico's Drug War Turns Political

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

MEXICO CITY -- Federal officials used the word "historic" to describe the May 26 arrests of 28 local officials, including 10 mayors, in the western state of Michoacán. Those detained were allegedly linked to La Familia, a drug cartel known for running extortion rackets, producing methamphetamines and corrupting municipal governments.

Opposition politicians and some political observers, meanwhile, expressed disquiet with the arrests and questioned their timing. The sting operation -- which netted mayors from the three main parties, including a pair from President Felipe Calderón's National Action Party (PAN) -- came barely five weeks before the July 5 midterm legislative elections. Critics also noted that the arrests took place in Calderón's home state, where the left-wing Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) wields power and the president and the PAN have yet to establish an electoral powerbase. ...

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