Militarization, reported by Reuters

REUTERS

11:37 a.m. February 19, 2007

MEXICO CITY – Mexico gave the military salary increases of almost 50
percent Monday to reward them for leading the fight against violent drug
gangs.

President Felipe Calderón has send thousands of troops to combat drug
cartels in several states since he took office last December.

“Our armed forced are first in the line of battle, and each soldier,
without respite, has faced up to this battle against organized crime,”
Calderón told troops in a ceremony to mark army day.

Rank-and-file troops will see their salaries increased by around 46
percent, backdated to the start of the year, he said. Other ranks will
receive similar raises, he said.

“The challenges that the country faces today are enormous … and for that
reason, as supreme commander, I have ordered a redoubling of efforts in
the job of protecting people and the nation,” Calderón said.

Soldiers manned checkpoints Monday in Monterrey, the home of some of
Mexico’s largest corporations such as Cemex, the world’s third largest
cement maker.

Troops and federal police forces are also patrolling roads in the states
of Michoacan, Guerrero, Durango, Sinaloa, Coahuila and Baja California,
including the border city of Tijuana.

(Additional reporting by Miguel Angel Gutierrez)

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