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The Juarez cartel controls one of the primary shipping routes for billions of dollars worth of drug shipments entering the U.S. from Mexico annually, and has publicly posted lists of Mexican police officers it intends to kill - many of whom ended up dead or fled the country.

“Mexican law enforcement and cartel members seeking refuge in the United States increased the risk of killings on U.S. soil,” the Arizona report said. “Rumors indicate the cartels authorized their operatives in the U.S. to hunt down and kill cartel members who have defected.”

During June and July, four Mexican police officers in Agua Prieta, just south of Douglas, Ariz., were killed and, according to the report, several others sought asylum in the United States. Last month, seven drug cartel leaders and members were killed in Mexican border towns south of Nogales, along with the young daughter of one of the men who was caught in an ambush.

On Aug. 25, the commander of the Policia Estatal Investigadora and his driver also were ambushed and killed in Baviacora, Sonora, about 150 miles southwest of Douglas.

According to the report, the victims were killed with AK-47 assault rifles and .45-caliber handguns. Three of them were decapitated. One of the vehicles involved in the killings was identified as having an Arizona license plate.

Rising violence on the U.S.-Mexico border has significantly affected the Border Patrol. The number of agents assaulted between the ports of entry along the southwestern border between October and July in fiscal 2008 was 892 - nearly three a day - compared with 638 during the first 10 months of fiscal 2006.

“We’ve seen an increase in violence all along the southwest and believe it is the result of our effort to gain effective control of the border,” said CBP spokesman Michael Friel. “Our deployment of additional manpower and resources has made the smuggling of drugs and people into the United States much more difficult.

“We believe the violence has increased because the smugglers are frustrated and they have used it as a diversion to get their cargoes into the United States,” Mr. Friel said. “But we will continue to deploy the agents and resources we need to effectively secure this nation’s border.”

The National Association of Former Border Patrol Officers (NAFBPO) has said efforts by Mexican military efforts to crush heavily armed drug-smuggling operations in five cities along the U.S.-Mexico border have resulted in a “grave threat” to U.S. authorities and a half-million Americans in the area.

“What we face is more of a challenge than law enforcement can be expected to cope with,” said NAFBPO Chairman Kent Lundgren. “The best solution is for the U.S. military to assume armed positions along the border … and use whatever force is necessary to control the border zone.”

The NAFBPO, whose more than 800 members include several former Border Patrol chiefs, has argued that as the Mexican military closes the “noose on the gangs” south of the border, the predictable consequence is that “those bandits will retreat across the Rio Grande into the United States. They will not surrender to Mexican authorities.”

“We need not expect Mexican authorities to inhibit their departures,” said Mr. Lundgren. “With grisly executions being the tool of persuasion when money won’t do, when they come here, they will be looking for new bases of operations,” bringing with them what he described as “new, unimaginable levels of venality and violence.”

AcTIC is an intelligence and domestic preparedness operation for local, state and federal law enforcement agencies. Among other things, it provides information on officer safety, intelligence bulletins and terrorism notices. HIDTA enhances and coordinates drug control efforts among local, state and federal law enforcement agencies.