Mexico has sent police and security reinforcements to patrol a suburb of Mexico City for the first time. This is to combat a rise in drug-related violence that is beginning to affect the capital.
From late Wednesday (September 19), a combined force of around 1,000 soldiers, federal police and local police took to the streets of Nezahualcoyotl on Mexico City's eastern flank. This area has suffered from a dispute between two rival drug cartels.
President Felipe Calderon's fight against drug gangs has overshadowed his administration. The arrangement in Nezahualcoyotl brings the conflict into the home state of his successor, Enrique Pena Nieto, who will take office in December.
Local resident Gerardo welcomed the presence of police reinforcements and soldiers.
[Gerardo, Resident of Nezahualcoyotl]:
"It was time that they did it. There is too much insecurity. We aren't safe in our own home or in our cars. It was fair to do this and now we will see if it really is a solution or will make it worse as we have seen in a large part of the country."
The local government's request for troops follows a murder which occurred last weekend, of Jaime Serrano, a local state congressman and member of Pena Nieto's Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).
Another Nezahualcoyotl resident said he hoped the security would be enforced throughout the area.
[Rafael, Resident of Nezahualcoyotl]:
"More surveillance, surveillance in all streets because sometimes they are just in avenues and not in the streets."
Security experts say that the violence in Nezahualcoyoti is due to a fight between the Zetas and La Familia drug cartels, for control of a growing market for narcotics and illegal goods.
Turf wars between drug gangs and clashes with security forces have killed around 60 thousand people over the past six years. Mexico City and its immediate surroundings have been among the least affected areas. However, recent months have seen drug-related violence creep up in Mexico City, and the neighbouring State of Mexico, where just over half of the population of the capital's urban area live.