Mexican gov't vows to reduce violence in federal operations

Mexico City, Mar 21 (EFE).- The Mexican government is doing everything possible to reduce the level of violence in operations involving federal security forces, which will remain deployed across the country as long as necessary, federal security spokesman Eduardo Sanchez said.

"The work done by the government has been to reduce significantly and to the extent possible the violent or the legitimate use of violence by the state," Sanchez said.

Law enforcement officials are using intelligence to "allow arrests to be made with the least violence possible (and) in ways that do not harm citizens," the federal security spokesman said.

Federal security forces remain in states whose governors requested them and "will continue having this presence until results are obtained," Sanchez said.

The war on drugs launched by former President Felipe Calderon, who was in office from 2006 to 2012, left about 70,000 people dead in Mexico, officials say.

Calderon deployed thousands of soldiers and Federal Police officers across the country to fight drug cartels, which infiltrated many state and municipal police departments.

Mexican press tallies estimated that about 12,000 people died in violent incidents linked to organized crime groups in 2012.

A total of 1,104 people died in violent incidents in Mexico in January, the government said.

Some 914 drug-related murders occurred in Mexico in February, the government said in a recent report.

More than 3,100 people have been killed in drug-related violence since President Enrique Peña Nieto took office on Dec. 1.