Mexico is at war. President Felipe Caldern has deployed 40,000 soldiers and 5,000 federal police officers to secure large swaths of the country against entrenched drug traffickers. Criminals unleash machine guns and grenades in urban battles that the State Department describes as "equivalent to military small-unit combat." In the year and a half since Calderon launched a crackdown against drug gangs, about 4,100 people have died. A team of Los Angeles Times reporters is chronicling this new war.
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