Armed to the hilt, they came from land and air, determined to restore order to Mexico's most violent city.
Nearly 2,000 Mexican soldiers and armed federal police poured into the border town of Ciudad Juarez last weekend.
The city - just across from El Paso in Texas - has been ravaged by drug gangs. Just this month 250 people were killed there by hitmen fighting for lucrative smuggling routes.
The soldiers' mandate is clear - and ambitious.
'This is to reinforce the operation in general ... to eradicate kidnappings, extortion, assaults and homicide,' army spokesman Enrique Torres said.
The soldiers are the first contingent of as many as 5,000 troops and federal police being sent to Juarez.
President Felipe Calderon's military operation is supported by the United
PHOTOS ARE HIGH QUALITY
States, which is concerned the violence could destabilize Mexico, a key trading partner, and spill over the border.
Mexico has deployed some 45,000 troops across the country to try to crush drug gangs, but clashes between rival cartels and security forces killed around 6,000 people last year.
Click to view image: 'b7f5a57ea815-article115877903b95fe6000005dc424_468x313_popupjpg.jpeg'
Click to view image: 'bffdfd03de9d-article115877903b8ff1e000005dc125_468x299_popupjpg.jpeg'
Click to view image: 'a21ea72fe74d-article115877903b9a888000005dc305_468x318_popupjpg.jpeg'
Click to view image: '452dbbe13411-article115877903b97a7c000005dc205_468x503_popupjpg.jpeg'
Click to view image: '5f8321eb9249-article115877903b96619000005dc645_468x286_popupjpg.jpeg'
Click to view image: '48a070d4a229-article115877903b96635000005dc857_468x230_popupjpg.jpeg'
Click to view image: '8b8e39403b02-article115877903b96739000005dc586_468x343_popupjpg.jpeg'
|Liveleak on Facebook|