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Mexican President Orders Crackdown on Crime

Mexican President Felipe Calderon has proposed a 12 percent increase in public security spending and ordered 10,000 soldiers transferred to the polic force in efforts to crack down on crime and drug trafficking. Saul Gonzalez of KCET-Los Angeles reports.

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  • SAUL GONZALEZ, NewsHour Correspondent:

    Residents of the Mexican border city of Tijuana haven't seen anything like it: military checkpoints on the outskirts of town, where soldiers search vehicles for drugs and guns.

    Units of heavily armed national police agents patrolling the city's commercial heart and stopping people for impromptu pat-downs. And the temporary seizure of all firearms carried by Tijuana's local cops to see if any of the weapons have been used in crimes.

    These efforts are part of recently elected Mexican President Felipe Calderon's new national crackdown on crime and drug trafficking in his country, a crackdown backed up by the deployment of thousands of soldiers and police to Mexico's most violent states and cities, such as Tijuana.

  • ANTONIO MARTINEZ LUNA, Baja California Attorney General:

    It sends a message that, if anybody is involved in organized crime, we're going to get them.

  • SAUL GONZALEZ:

    Antonio Martinez Luna, a strong supporter of President Calderon's public security initiatives, is the attorney general of the Mexican state of Baja California, where Tijuana is located.

  • ANTONIO MARTINEZ LUNA:

    Organized crime needs to understand or criminals need to understand that they cannot affect ordinary people. They cannot affect our people. They cannot take our streets.

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