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Mexico drug violence rises on border despite army 11 May 2009 17:31:03 GMT
* Killings increase after lull on U.S.-Mexico border
* Gangs seek lower profile but still murdering rivals
* Government says it is flushing out corrupt police
By Julian Cardona
CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico, May 11 (Reuters) - Killings between rival drug cartels are rising again in Mexico's most violent city despite a massive army deployment that temporarily slashed the murder rate on the U.S. border.
Drug gangsters in Ciudad Juarez who used to chase enemies in flashy black jeeps have lowered their profile but are still killing each other as 10,000 troops and federal police patrol the city, across the border from El Paso, Texas.
"Criminals are taking a different approach, using pistols not assault weapons and driving around in small, old cars to reach their rivals, ditching their SUVs," said army spokesman Enrique Torres.
The government says the army has cut drug murders by up to 80 percent since soldiers arrived in March -- but gangs killed 12 people on May 1 in one of the bloodiest days this year.
The 231 drug murders recorded in Ciudad Juarez in February dropped to 64 in March, the army says. But the number crept up to 81 in April and is already over 30 for the first week of May, according to police and media tallies.