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She is one of the first governors in the country to declare a state of emergency along the Arizona-Mexico border as a result of rising drug trafficking, violence and illegal migration.

Mexican President Felipe Calderon declared war against the cartels in 2006 and has committed more than 40,000 Mexican soldiers to fight the drug gangs on their own turf, although the violence continues to escalate. Last year, the cartels in Mexico killed more than 3,700 people, many of whom were the victims of beheadings or other brutal mutilations.

The bodies of some of those killed were dumped in schoolyards and other public venues. At least 450 Mexican police officers and soldiers have been killed since January 2007.

The Merida Initiative includes training, equipment and intelligence to target drug trafficking, transnational crime and money laundering. Congress passed legislation in June to provide Mexico with $400 million for military and law enforcement training and equipment, as well as technical advice and training to strengthen the national justice systems.

No weapons are included, and about $73 million is earmarked for Mexico to use for judicial reform, institution building, human rights and rule-of-law issues. The measure does include eight Bell 412 helicopters, two small Cessna 208 airplanes, surveillance software, and other goods and services produced by U.S. private defense contractors.

Increased border violence is not surprising to the federal, state and local law enforcement authorities assigned along the 1,951-mile U.S.-Mexico border, despite the presence of thousands of additional Border Patrol agents in a Homeland Security effort to gain “operational control” of the border.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman Michael Friel said the increased violence is the result of efforts by Homeland Security to gain control of the border.

“Our deployment of additional manpower and resources has made the smuggling of drugs and people into the United States much more difficult,” Mr. Friel said. “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.

“But we will continue to deploy the agents and resources we need to effectively secure this nation’s border,” he said.

Shawn P. Moran, a 10-year U.S. Border Patrol veteran who serves as vice president of the National Border Patrol Council Local 1613 in San Diego, said the drug cartels are heavily armed and well-equipped.

“They’ve got weapons, high-tech radios, computers, cell phones, Global Positioning Systems, spotters, and can react faster than we are able to,” Mr. Moran said. “And they have no hesitancy to attack the agents on the line, with anything from assault rifles and improvised Molotov cocktails to rocks, concrete slabs and bottles.

“There are so many agent ‘rockings’ that few are even reported anymore,” he said. “If we wrote them all up, that’s all we would be doing.”

In a 2008 report, ICE said the cartels were becoming increasingly ruthless against rivals and also were targeting federal, state and local police.

During a raid last year on a gang operation in Laredo, Texas, an ICE-led task force of federal agents seized two completed improvised explosive devices, materials for making 33 more devices, 300 primers, 1,280 rounds of ammunition, five grenades, nine pipes with end caps, 26 grenade triggers (14 with fuses and primers attached), 31 grenade spoons, 40 grenade pins, 19 black powder casings, a silencer and cash.

William Hoover, assistant director for field operations at the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, told a House subcommittee in June that violence fueled by Mexico’s cartels posed a serious challenge for both U.S. and Mexican law enforcement and threatened the well-being and safety of citizens on both sides of the border.

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