Mexico replaces customs staff

August 16, 2009 1:10:33 PM PDT
Mexico has replaced all 700 of its customs inspectors with agents newly trained to fight drug smuggling. The government has sent soldiers to airports and border crossings across the country to take back the guns issued to the inspectors.

Tax Administration Service spokesman Pedro Canabal says the officers were not fired. Instead, the agency decided not to rehire them when their contracts expired over the weekend.

They were replaced with 1,400 newly hired agents who have undergone months of training and background checks to ensure they have no criminal records.

Canabal spoke Sunday to The Associated Press.