The rapid thud-thud-thud of military choppers overhead on Wednesday was the first thing to catch the attention of the residents of Cuernavaca, a city south of Mexico City known as a retreat for city-dwellers and tourists alike.
The helicopters landed near Punta Vista Hermosa, a majestic resort where condos sell for millions of Mexican pesos, and before long, seemingly hundreds of military personnel were on its grounds.
A few hours later, a ferocious firefight broke out between the military and a cell of drug traffickers.
"Things like this rarely happen here," said Yadira Abigail Flores Delgado, who works at a nearby private security firm. "I could hear the shots and the helicopters. It was a very ugly incident."
The outcome, however, was sweet for the administration of President Felipe Calderon.
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