September 14, 2008 6:00 AM

Organized crime takes control in parts of Mexico

As helicopters circled overhead, trucks carrying Mexican army troops lurched through the colonial streets of this provincial capital to a central plaza, where a grenade had been discovered near the cathedral. Law-enforcement agents cordoned off the plaza and removed the grenade. But the latest attempt at intimidation in Michoacan, the state where Mexican President Felipe Calderon first dispatched the military to confront the Mexican drug cartels, appears to have succeeded. Fear of the drug gangs pervades this city about 200 miles west of Mexico City.

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