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Hundreds killed in last five days in Mexican drug war. Mexican president blames US.


From Washington Post…

An explosion of drug violence in Mexico has killed hundreds of people in the past five days and prompted the country’s president to issue a 5,000-word manifesto warning that the fight against organized crime must continue “or we will always live in fear.”

As the latest spasm of killing has spread across the country, cartel assassins, local thugs and federal troops have died in running gun battles, highway ambushes and prison melees. On Tuesday, shooting broke out in the popular tourist town of Taxco, south of the Mexican capital. Mexican army troops, acting on a tip, raided a house and a firefight ensued, leaving 14 gunmen dead.

The string of grisly attacks since Thursday has included the execution-style killing of 19 drug addicts in a rehabilitation clinic and several assaults targeting police, including an ambush this week that killed 12 federal officers.

In an editorial printed in newspapers nationwide Monday, President Felipe Calderón defended his drug war as vital to the country’s security. More than 23,000 people have died in drug-related violence since December 2006, when Calderón first sent the Mexican military into the streets, according to a government report.

The president directly blamed the United States.

“The origin of our violence problem begins with the fact that Mexico is located next to the country that has the highest levels of drug consumption in the world,” Calderón wrote. “It is as if our neighbor were the biggest drug addict in the world.”