3 Bodies, 1 Headless, Found in Ditch in Mexico

Three bodies, one of them headless, were found floating in an irrigation ditch Tuesday in a northern Mexican border city where drug violence has spiked despite the presence of thousands of soldiers.

Firefighters fished the bodies from the ditch in Ciudad Juarez,
a city across the border from El Paso, Texas. One of the bodies was
decapitated, while the other two were found with their heads
wrapped in packing tape, according to a city fire department
report. All three had signs of torture - a trademark of drug gang
violence.

The federal government deployed 5,000 extra troops to Ciudad
Juarez in an attempt to restore security to one of Mexico's most
dangerous cities. Homicides initially dropped sharply, only to
quickly resurge: More than 800 people have been killed this year, a
rate similar to last year.

President Felipe Calderon has sent tens of thousands of soldiers
and federal police across the country to crush Mexico's ruthless
drug cartels. But the strategy has failed to quell brutal drug
violence, which has claimed more than 11,000 lives since Calderon
took office in December 2006.

Another tortured body, gagged and stuffed in a plastic bag, was
found in the Gulf state of Veracruz, municipal police spokeswoman
Laura Leon said Tuesday. Police found the man's body just before
midnight Monday in the city of Boca del Rio.

The Mexican navy, meanwhile, seized two speedboats containing
8.3 tons of cocaine off of the coast of southwestern Oaxaca state,
according to a navy statement released Tuesday.

Five crew members - three Mexicans and two Colombians - were
arrested in Monday's operation, assisted by U.S., Guatemalan and
Belizean authorities.


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