VILLANUEVA, Mexico, Feb. 26 (UPI) -- The Mexican army's presence in the town of Villanueva has only served to intensify violence on the part of area drug cartels, sources say.
Sources said while the army responded to Villanueva residents' demands for a military presence in the town last month, drug war violence in the town and the surrounding Zacatecas state have gotten worse, the Los Angeles Times said Thursday.
Since the military took over security efforts in the area from police, Police Chief Romulo Madrid was killed and an army patrol was ambushed, leaving five people dead.
Unidentified sources suspect elements of the area police force may have helped orchestrate the ambush of the military patrol.
Mayor Antonio De la Torre said even with a military presence, Villanueva is facing a uncertain future.
"Someone is kidnapped and everyone says, 'Who's next,'" the mayor told the Times. "We can't continue this way. The town is dying."