Despite the Mexican government's vow to crack down on drug cartels, local police forces are outmanned, outmaneuvered, and outgunned by the more sophisticated trafficking organizations, the Los Angeles Time reports. The ill-prepared and often corrupt community police have emerged as the weakest link in the offensive against drug trafficking on which Felipe Calderon's presidency depends.
Local police forces, which make up 60% of Mexican law enforcement, are underpaid and highly susceptible to bribery. They have little more than pistols to battle cartel associates armed with machine guns. In May, traffickers abducted and killed five officers in Cananea, near the border with Arizona. Within hours, half of the rest of the town's 48 officers quit. (Read more Mexico stories.)