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After a 17-month investigation led by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, federal, state and local authorities cracked down on a vast drug-smuggling network in Arizona that officials tied to Mexico's Sinaloa cartel, making 76 arrests in three separate raids.

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Mexican troops shot and killed Ignacio "Nacho" Coronel, one of the leaders of the Sinaloa drug cartel, in a firefight Thursday. The U.S. had offered a $5 million reward for Coronel's capture.

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It's been a creeping tragedy that has escaped serious attention by many major media outlets, but the recurring waves of drug violence in Mexico have taken the lives of about 5,000 people in 2008. In response, the Mexican government has deployed more than 40,000 troops, though corruption within the state's security forces remains a grave problem.

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