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Reporting from Mexico City -- The detention this week of more than two dozen local officials in Michoacan on suspicion of aiding a narcotics cartel marks a new tack in Mexico's bloody drug war, a strategic shift that Wednesday sent nervous politicians running for cover.
Ten mayors and 17 other officials were swept up Tuesday in raids by federal authorities, and were interrogated Wednesday in Mexico City. Ricardo Najera, spokesman for the federal attorney general's office, said the officials are suspected of having ties to La Familia, one of Mexico's most violent drug syndicates.
President Felipe Calderon declared war on drug gangs when he took office in December 2006, saying that traffickers had "overwhelmed" a number of local governments.
But he had focused his energies primarily on a military offensive, deploying 45,000 soldiers and federal police officers. Top drug gangsters have been killed or captured, and federal authorities have also targeted for arrest corrupt law enforcement officers.