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    Spiraling Drug Violence in Mexico


    by NTDTelevision

    Military honor guards carry the bodies of 16 Honduran nationals brought home from Mexico.

    The 16 victims of Mexico's spiralling drug war were found on a remote ranch near the U.S. border.

    [Family Member of Victim]:
    "He left the 10th of August. My brother and my uncle are over there. He left because his children are in the United States and he had been deported three months ago from there."

    Last week Mexican marines discovered 72 corpses from five countries that had been blindfolded, bound, lined up against a wall and gunned down.

    Mexican authorities are still hunting the perpetrators of the worst massacre in the country's escalating drug war.

    But this week the Mexican government scored a victory with the capture of Texas-born Edgar "La Barbie" Valdez, an important figure in the Sinaloa drug cartel.

    Valdez is believed to have worked closely with Gerardo Alvarez-Vazquez, known as "El Indio," who was captured in April.

    [Alberto Islas, Independent Mexican Security Analyst]:
    "What is important here is that the Sinaloa cartel now controls the whole Mexican Pacific coast from Guerrero to Mexicali. Valdez was an important player. It is estimated he smuggled nearly three to five tonnes of cocaine per month. In dollars that represented $40 million in sales."

    Police found six other men including another Texan with Valdez in a safe house with cocaine, cellphones and weapons.

    In a video released by police, Valdez answers detailed questions about running drugs from Panama to Mexico funded by trailers of cash from the United States.

    Yet Valdez's arrest is unlikely to stem the bloodshed in Mexico.

    28,000 people have died since President Felipe Calderon launched a crackdown on drug cartels in late 2006.


    Andrew Bossone, Reuters.