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Old 09-24-09, 06:10 PM   #1
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Post Mexico senators confirm new point man in drug war (AP)

AP - A state prosecutor criticized for failing to solve dozens of rapes and murders of women in his northern border state was confirmed Thursday as Mexico's attorney general and leader of the nation's war on vicious drug cartels.

The Senate confirmed Arturo Chavez while a few dozen women protested outside. The demonstrators said Chavez didn't do enough to catch those responsible for attacks on women when he was the top federal prosecutor and attorney general in the northern state of Chihuahua, one of Mexico's bloodiest drug gang battlegrounds.

The state, across the border from Texas, is home to Mexico's deadliest city: Ciudad Juarez, which has had more than 1,600 homicides this year.

Underscoring that bleak distinction, authorities said that after receiving a phone tip Thursday, police found three human heads along a highway near Ciudad Juarez and were still searching for the bodies.

The state Attorney General's Office said the heads were put in three coolers beside a roadside monument known as "The Seven Little Heads," in memory of seven children killed in a traffic accident at that spot. The killers also left a banner saying, "For those who keep stealing."

More than 13,500 people, many of them gangsters, have died in drug violence in Mexico since President Felipe Calderon took office in December 2006. After he launched an offensive against cartels, the gangs responded with unprecedented violence, including beheadings and shootouts in broad daylight.

Calderon tapped Chavez to replace Eduardo Medina-Mora as the country's top legal officer earlier this month during the largest shake-up of his administration.


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