MEXICO CITY - MARK STEVENSON
Burnt vehicles. Road blockades. A raging gun battle between marines and gang members that killed eight.
Such scenes have been common in places like Reynosa and Nuevo Laredo during Mexico's decade-old drug war. But residents of Mexico City were stunned this week to see that kind of mayhem in their own city, long considered something of an oasis from the violence wreaking havoc elsewhere.
The shootout saw some 1,300 police and marines deployed on the streets of the poor southern borough of Tlahuac. Photos show the slain suspects were carrying assault rifles instead of the pistols usually used in most armed crimes in Mexico City.
The violence has left authorities scrambling to maintain long-held claims that no drug cartels do not operate in the capital.