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Violence also continues in the western state of Michoacan near the border of Jalisco state, where two other cartels fight for territory.

The administration tactic again has mirrored that of Calderon, sending more troops and federal police to try to regain control of the region, so far with little result.

Nine bodies, hands bound and shot, were found on an abandoned property near the town of Buenavista Tomatlan in Michoacan on Saturday. At least 23 bodies in total were found, counting those in neighboring Guerrero state, where drug cartels, vigilantes and security forces also have been fighting for much of the year.

Meanwhile, the Pena Nieto government continues to say its focus is on crime prevention to bring down violence. But there is very little evidence so far.

“It’s a campaign slogan, a political discourse designed to convince the public,” Benitez said. “They’re giving very few resources to the prevention campaign.”