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    Mexican massacre prompts drugs cartel action

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    ODN

    by ODN

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    Mexico has pledged to step up its fight against powerful drug cartels by attacking the billions of dollars they earn each year.


    The news comes after marines discovered 72 bodies, thought to be of central and South American immigrants headed for the US, on a remote Mexican ranch. Officials believe they were gunned down by one of the country's brutal drug gangs.


    President Felipe Calderon said he would send proposals to Congress that would ban cash purchases of real estate and make it easier for officials to seize property from drug cartels and their front companies.


    More than 28,000 people have died in drug violence in Mexico since Calderon launched his war on cartels in late 2006.


    "They are (measures) about reducing, minimizing the possibility of them (drug traffickers) introducing themselves into the formal economy in Mexico and that is the importance of the measures we are announcing today.


    "These new instruments, will strengthen the national security strategy because they will allow us to hit criminals where it hurts the most, their finances, a central part of their operation," Calderon said.


    Mexican cartels, which control most of the cocaine and methamphetamine smuggled into the US, bring an estimated $25 billion to $40 billion into Mexico from their global operations every year.