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Mexican police chief steps down

Mexican police chief steps down
Mexican President Felipe Calderon, shown in Washington Jan. 12, 2008. (UPI Photo/Kevin Dietsch) | License Photo

CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico, Feb. 20 (UPI) -- A chief of police for Mexico's most notoriously violent Ciudad Juarez stepped down Friday amid ongoing threats against his life.

Roberto Orduna stepped down after the latest bout of violence left a fellow policeman dead, El Universal reported. Drug gang leaders in the city threatened to kill a police officer every day until Orduna stepped down.

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Earlier Friday, Mexican President Felipe Calderon said the military will continue to help fight drug cartels until police are retrained and ready to do the job. Forty-five-thousand soldiers are involved in the drug-enforcement effort.

Calderon said the soldiers would patrol until the government had control of the most violent parts of the country and civil authorities were fully able "to confront this evil."

Drug traffickers are fighting the army, police and one another for billion-dollar smuggling routes into the United States. More than 650 have died in drug violence in Mexico so far this year, with an estimated 6,000 killed in 2008.

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