Mexico replace more than 1,000 customs agents

Mexico has replaced more than 1,000 customs agents at airports and border crossings with newly trained inspectors in a major crackdown on corruption. During the changeover, the army took over customs border posts.

Officials said the agents had been let go after their contracts were allowed to expire. The replacement of the customs officers follows a similar operation in the police force, where thousands have been fired.

The new 1,400-strong force had been rigorously trained to detect contraband, from guns and drugs to appliances smuggled into the country.

Mexican President Felipe Calderon has declared war on the illegal narcotic organisation in Mexico, deploying 40,000 troops to fight the cartels.

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