Huge cache of arms, explosives seized in Mexico

August 31st, 2008 - 9:02 pm ICT by IANS  

Tuxtla Gutierrez (Mexico), Aug 31 (IANS) Around 46 automatic rifles and 90 grenades have been seized by Mexican authorities from two gangs involved in arms and drug trafficking in the country’s southeastern state of Chiapas, Spain’s EFE news agency reported Sunday. Besides seizure of arms, seven members of the gangs were also arrested in the operation Friday, Chiapas Justice Minister Amador Rodriguez said.

Mexico has been plagued by drug-related violence in recent years, with powerful cartels battling each other for control of the lucrative drug trade as well as the distribution routes.

According to an estimate, at least 2,700 people have been killed in turf wars between rival gangs in 2007.

A total of 46 automatic rifles, five handguns, 5,956 cartridges and 90 grenades among others were confiscated, Rodriguez said, adding that the Mexican army, federal and state police took part in the operation.

The security forces also seized communication equipments, six SUVs, two luxury cars, besides cocaine, in the operation in Comitan, close to the Guatemala border.

The gangs operate in vast swathes of areas in the state for extortion and drug peddling.

President Felipe Calderon has deployed some 30,000 soldiers and federal police in dozens of Mexican states to control the violence, although the killings continued unabated.

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