Thursday, May 28, 2009

Army To Stay in Juarez Through December

When President Felipe Calderon visited Juarez two weeks ago a delegation representing a cross section of Juarez society petitioned him to keep the troops quartered in the city until the end of the year, to give the city time to recruit 3000 police officers. Diario reports this morning the petition has apparently been granted.

It is unclear who will pay for the extra stay of the army. Until September, the city of Juarez is paying for the troops.

City officials expect that by September only 2700 out of the authorized 3000 will have been recruited. Mayor Reyes Ferriz said he hoped the troops will stay six months longer, rather than just three.

715 our of about 1500 municipal police have been fired. Some have been murdered, and others have simply deserted in the wake of the spike in violence that began two years ago.

The presence of military troops in Juarez to assist municipal police began in January 2008, with the introduction of 500 troops to patrol the city. On March 27 2008 Joint Operation Chihuahua was announced, and an additional 2000 troops were brought to Juarez. Earlier this year, in response to another spike in violence, another 5000 troops were assigned to Juarez.

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