Mexico Offers Big Rewards For Top Drug Lords

MEXICO CITY — Mexico’s government is making a public challenge to the violent grip that drug cartels have on the country.

It’s offering rewards of up to $2 million each for information leading to the arrest of 24 top drug lords. Smaller rewards are being offered for information about 13 of their lieutenants.

The rewards are said to be the largest Mexico has ever offered for top drug kingpins.

More than 9,000 people have been killed in Mexican drug violence since President Felipe Calderon took office in December 2006. Gangs are battling each other for territory and to fight off a government crackdown.