EL PASO, Texas (Jan. 14) --- If Mexican drug violence spills across the U.S. border, the American military may be called in to assist local authorities and federal homeland secruity agents.
While not divulging full details, the Dept. of Homeland Security has a contingency plan in place that could include aircraft, armored vehicles and special teams to secure areas "overwhelmed with violence."
“It’s a common sense extension of our continued work with our state, local, and tribal partners in securing the southwest border,” DHS spokeswoman Amy Kudwa said Friday.
With wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, many Americans may be unaware of the extreme violence raging on their southern border. The Associated Press estimates that 5,000 people have been killed during the past year, while "police and military officials have become common targets for violent drug cartels who are fighting with each other and the government for control of lucrative drug and human smuggling routes across Mexico."
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The AP estimates more than one-fifth of those deaths have occurred in Ciudad Juarez, the rough border city just across the Rio Grande river from El Paso. There were a reported 1,600 murders in Juarez in 2007 alone.
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