Drug Lords to Mexican Cops: Join Us or Die

Cartels post death threats, hit lists to threaten police
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted May 19, 2008 8:13 AM CDT
Drug Lords to Mexican Cops: Join Us or Die
A bus passes a recruiting billboard for the municipal police that reads in Spanish "Juarez Needs You! Join up and become part of the city police" in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, Thursday, May 15, 2008.    (AP Photo/Alexandre Meneghini)

Mexican drug cartels are running a campaign of warnings and death threats to police who won’t join them, the AP reports. Banners across roads, hit lists, and messages on cops' two-way radios work to intimidate “those who still don’t believe” in the cartels’ power. Four top Mexican police officials, including the acting federal police chief, have been killed this month.

“They are attacking top commanders to destabilize the police force,” said the mayor of Ciudad Juarez at the funeral of one cop. One hit list named 22 of the city's police commanders this year; seven of them have been killed and three wounded, while all but one of the rest have quit. The killings were sparked by President Felipe Calderon’s cartel crackdown, which has deployed thousands of soldiers and police. (Read more Mexico stories.)

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