Mexico Reportedly to Keep Army on Street Patrol in Drug War for Years

Mexico’s army will continue to patrol its streets for another four years in an effort to destroy drug cartels responsible for killing nearly 2,000 people so far this year, according to an adviser to Mexico's President Felipe Calderon.

Calderon began the current assault on drug gangs when he came to power in December 2006, though his deployment of soldiers to shore up security has rubbed some Mexican citizens the wrong way.

Apparently, the arrangement won't change for a while.

“We have until 2013 to train each and every one of the police. When the police force has passed the entire battery of tests of confidence, improved their capacity and preparation, then the army can return to the barracks,” Monte Alejandro Rubido, the presidential adviser, told the Mexican newspaper El Universal in a report cited by Reuters.

While most Mexicans say they support the mobilization of the army to battle drug violence, there have been complaints about rights abuses by the troops in northern and central states.

Drug deaths had dropped by 80 percent when 10,000 troops and federal police officers were sent to the northern border city of Ciudad Juarez in March.