Even though Mexican President Felipe Calderon has deployed an unprecedented 46,000 troops and federal police throughout Mexico, the frequency and severity of drug-related violence is increasing in border areas even as plummeting manufacturing demand from the United States has prompted layoffs there, USA Today reported Monday.
As the economy worsens and Mexican manufacturers concentrated near the border lay off more workers, some officials say the United States is in danger of seeing a mass influx of illegal immigrants seeking to escape the poverty and drug-gang violence of the region.
The mix of violence and recession has meant bad business for everybody in Villa Ahumada, Mexico, 80 miles south of El Paso, Texas, residents say. A total of 21 people were killed in the town Feb. 10 after drug gangs abducted several men and then fought a massive running gun battle with the Mexican army.
"Everyone is afraid to stop here now," taco vendor Javier Ramirez told USA Today. "Villa Ahumada, the town with no law. We've become famous."
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