Mexico has sent police and military reinforcements to patrol a suburb of Mexico City for the first time to combat a rise in drug-related violence that is beginning to encroach on the country’s capital.
A combined force of around 1,000 soldiers, federal police and local police took to the streets of Nezahualcoyotl from Wednesday this week.
The city of 1.1 million people to Mexico City’s east has suffered from a dispute between two rival drug cartels.
President Felipe Calderon’s fight against drug gangs has overshadowed his administration, and the deployment in Nezahualcoyotl brings the conflict into the home state of his successor Enrique Pena Nieto, who takes office in December.
Calderon has already deployed 50,000 troops across the country to combat violent drug cartels.
The local government’s request for troops in the sprawling Nezahualcoyotl municipality follows the murder there this weekend of Jaime Serrano, a local state congressman and member of Pena Nieto’s Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).