Thousands of federal troops have been deployed to various Mexican border communities, including Tijuana, after a flare-up in gang violence. The northern state of Baja California was attacked by a wave of arson that saw over 30 automobiles destroyed and roadways shut on Friday night.
It came after a week of gunfire and violence in other parts of Mexico. The central government has blamed the chaos on the formidable Jalisco New Generation drug cartel. Officials have stated that numerous cartels are participating in a power struggle and at least 17 persons have been arrested in the most recent unrest, local media said.
On Saturday, few people stepped out on the streets in Tijuana, with shops remaining closed and university classes canceled. Many bus services also ceased functioning. Tijuana Mayor Montserrat Caballero begged drug gangs to stop the bloodshed.
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“Today we are declaring to the organized crime groups who are conducting these crimes, that Tijuana is going to remain open and take care of its residents,” she stated in a video. “We also ask them to repay their obligations with those who didn’t pay what they owe, not with families and hard-working citizens.”
Some 350 additional troops were flown into Tijuana on Saturday, and Ms. Caballero said around 3,000 soldiers and 2,000 police officers have been deployed across the state to maintain order. State Governor Marina Del Pilar committed to “use all the strength of our Government so that there is peace and we discover those guilty for these attacks”.
The US consulate stated in a statement that it “is aware of reports of multiple vehicle fires, roadblocks and heavy police activity” in many cities in the region and asked its staff to hide in place. Tijuana stands on the US border and the territory around the city is a profitable drug trafficking route. Although the Arellano Felix cartel has maintained power for quite some time, it appears to have become a battleground for rival organizations.
This week, after authorities sought to apprehend a commander of the Jalisco cartel, gunmen from the cartel set fire to automobiles and businesses in the western states of Jalisco and Guanajuato. And on Thursday, eleven people were killed as a gang brawl at a prison in the border city of Ciudad Juarez spilled out onto the streets. Stay tuned with us only on Lee Daily