Mexican government gets tough on 'Knights Templars' drug cartel
Security forces beefed up in Michoacan state after mass beheadings
Mexican authorities have beefed up their security forces for a possible showdown with the 'Knights Templars', a splinter group of the La Familia drug cartel. The Mexican government has deployed an extra 1,800 federal agents in their battle with drug cartels. At least 41 people were killed over the weekend, including 10 who were beheaded.
Coahuila state, where Torreon is located, is a battleground for two powerful Mexican drug cartels: the Zetas, founded by former Mexican special forces soldiers, and the Pacific cartel, headed by Joaquin 'Chapo' (Shorty) Guzman.
National Security Council spokesman Alejandro Poire called it a "reinforcement operation faced with the possibility of greater mobilization by organized crime groups.
"They are waging an absurd war, to the death, for control of criminal turf and drug trafficking routes to the United States," he said.
About 50,000 army troops and thousands of federal police have joined the fight against drug cartels. The Mexican government blames the groups for most of the 37,000 people killed since it started a military offensive against the cartels in December 2006.
Officers in the northern city of Torreon said that they had found the headless bodies of seven men and three women in the back of an abandoned pick-up vehicle this past weekend. Only one head, belonging to a woman, was found at the site, and that the killers had placed it on the truck's hood.
The victims had apparently been executed "several days ago" in disparate locations, and their bodies were piled up in the abandoned pick-up vehicle "in an attempt to sow terror among the citizens of Torreon." Police have not said if they have suspects.
The decapitated bodies were discovered hours after 20 people were killed when assailants attacked a local bar in Monterrey, located in the north and the country's second richest city.
Coahuila state, where Torreon is located, is a battleground for two powerful Mexican drug cartels: the Zetas, founded by former Mexican special forces soldiers, and the Pacific cartel, headed by Joaquin "Chapo" (Shorty) Guzman.
In a separate incident, 11 people were shot dead on Friday afternoon in Chalco, a town on the outskirts of Mexico City.
© 2011, Catholic Online. Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
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