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Mexico official resigns over drug cartels battle

August 1, 2008 |  9:13 am


A high-ranking official in the Mexican attorney general's office has resigned under pressure amid poor results in the nation's battle against kidnappers and drug traffickers, reports Marla Dickerson.

Noe Ramirez Mandujano had served for 20 months as deputy attorney general in charge of the Office for Special Investigation Into Organized Crime before tendering his resignation Wednesday.

Violence has exploded across large swaths of Mexico as drug gangs fight for control of lucrative smuggling routes to the United States. More than 2,300 people have died this year in Mexico in narcotics-related violence, according to a July 18 body count by the national daily Reforma.

On Thursday, police in the western Mexican state of Jalisco found six members of a family shot to death in a house in the town of Zapotlan el Grande.

And in July, the nation's drug wars sank to new depths as the Mexican navy announced it had seized a submarine that was transporting cocaine off the southern coast. Colombian authorities have captured more than a dozen such vessels over the last couple of years, but law enforcement experts say the homemade subs are becoming ever more sophisticated.

It's hoped that the recently approved Merida Initiative -- which will see a funding injection of $400 million for the Mexican Government from the U.S -- will help the country in its bloody battle against the organized crime and drug trafficking networks.

For more on this story, click here.

For more on the drug trade in Mexico, click here.

-- Deborah Bonello in Mexico City

Photo: Mexican navy sailors ride on top of a seized drug smuggling submarine as it was being towed by a navy ship off the coast of the Pacific resort city of Huatulco, Mexico. Credit: Miguel Angel Tovar / Associated Press