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Analysis: since 2009 Mexican Army exceeded goals capturing thousands of criminals, equipment and tons of drugs.

Chief of Staff of the Army, Gen. George W. Casey Jr., gives Gen. Guillermo Galvan, Secretary of Mexico's National Defense, a Remington Statue as part of a gift exchange and at the conclusion of their meeting in Mexico City, Mexico, Aug. 4, 2010. The meetings were part of a continuing effort to expand the partnership between two neighbors bound by a shared future and common understanding of security.

The Mexican army has captured – since September 2009 to date -. about 8361 drug traffickers, including several “drug lords”. They also captured  seized 2212 tons of drugs , according to last year’s balance sheet released last wednesday by the National Defense Secretariat (Sedena).

In a press conference, the Director of the Sedena, Guillermo Galvan, highlighted the achievements of the so-called fight against organized crime, a priority of President Felipe Calderon since the beginning of his term in 2006.

Among the most important drug traffickers are fallen  Texas-born Edgar Valdez Villarreal – alias “La Barbie”- and Carlos Beltran Leyva, who were arrested alive, and Nacho Coronel, leader of the Sinaloa cartel who was killed last July by soldiers who wanted to arrest him , but died in the operation.

The army also arrested sixteen lieutenants “of various criminal organizations,”  about 8248 mexican narco operatives and 95 foreigners linked all of them with illegal drug trafficking.

As for the drugs seized since last September, Galvan said the catch was 2170 tons of marihuana, nearly 22 tons of seeds of marihuana, 4.5 tons of poppy seed, 2 tons of cocaine and 94 kilos of heroin.

In addition, the military seized one ton of opium gum, 13 tons of methamphetamine (drug known as “crystal”) and 413,469 psychotropic pills.

The operations performed by the military against organized crime in the last twelve months have also seizured 27 810 firearms, 1,969 grenades, 8.025 vehicles, 74 aircraft, 24 vessels, over a hundred million and 40 million Mexican pesos dollars. All of it linked to the drug trafficking.

The mexican Secretary of Defense explained that the previous balance “exceeds by 21 percent,” the goal of high-impact operations for the period.

Another of the objectives set by General Galván was to increase surveillance of Mexican airspace.

The Sedena has increased the average time of flight of each airplane 49,100 hours of flight (media of year 2006), to the 88,175 currently registered.

To Galván these figures show that the air surveillance target “was exceeded by 39 percent” and “it gives an idea of momentum is given to the fight against organized crime.”