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Mexico car bomb: 'Colombianization' of Mexico nearly complete

Last week's Mexico car bomb in the border town of Cuidad Juarez killed three. It is the first known use of a car bomb against authorities and marks a troubling new level of violence in the country's brutal drug war.

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Officials placed the blame on La Linea, a street gang that works for the local Juarez cartel, and said the car bomb could have been in retaliation for the arrest of a gang member earlier in the week.

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Why is Juarez so bad?

Ciudad Juarez has been in the throes of violence in Mexico in the past year, as the Juarez and Sinaloa gangs fight for the lucrative drug routes that head into the United States from the border. In response, federal police took control of the city from the military this spring, and the federal government is also experimenting with a new approach to the drug war, which saw the dispatching of the military across the country by Mexican President Felipe Calderón when he took office in December 2006 and placed more emphasis on social programs and the roots of violence.

Mexico has faced many troubling milestones since then. New figures released by the attorney general on Friday show that nearly 25,000 people have been killed in drug-related violence since Mr. Calderón took office. Local elections in early July were marred by intimidation, with the low point being the assassination of the leading candidate for governor for the northern state of Tamaulipas, Rodolfo Torre Cantu.

The attack comes as Calderón, who has promised to stay tough on drug cartels and not back down, reshuffled his cabinet last week, including naming a new Interior minister, José Francisco Blake.

This weekend alone left nearly 20 dead, including five factory workers in Ciudad Juarez and four police officers in the Pacific resort town of Acapulco.

STORY: How Juarez got so bad 

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