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The Christian Science Monitor takes a step back today to examine President Felipe Calderon’s crackdown on the Mexican drug trade.

The story’s focus is on the military operations that have ranged from marijuana eradication in Michoacan to Tijuana, where federal officers stripped the local police force of their weapons.

But analysts quoted in the story suggest that a flashy federal military intervention won’t curb the country’s drug problem in the long run. Handling corruption in local police forces and reforming the courts will be the tougher battle, the story says.

Reporter Sara Miller Llana writes:

But [Bruce] Bagley, [a drug-war specialist] from the University of Miami says that the scale of the problem is among Calderon’s biggest obstacles. “His problem doesn’t only lie in Michoacan. Nuevo Laredo is a slaughterhouse. Tijuana, all across the northern tier, is suffering massive drug-related violence,” he says. “[The troop deployment] is a stopgap measure … that’s unlikely to have enduring impact. Within a few months I fully expect a renewal of the struggle.”

ROB DAVIS

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