As violent crime has spiked in Tijuana and other Mexican border cities, partly the result of a federal crackdown on drug cartels, many who live in Tijuana or travel there from San Diego for business have hired private security help, reports the San Diego Union-Tribune. These services have been in demand in the past but more so now, according to security firms in both cities. The number of businesses offering private security is also increasing. “It is a lucrative business right now,” said Frank Dowse of the Agemus Group, a San Diego-based firm started last year that provides door-to-door security details for clients traveling to Tijuana for business.
A wave of violent kidnappings for ransom that began around the middle of this decade has been the biggest driver of business. Kidnappings in Tijuana in the past few years are estimated in the hundreds, and authorities believe many go unreported. When Tijuana began developing a reputation as a kidnapping capital, “that was unfortunate, but fortunate for guys like myself,” said a San Diego-based security professional who asked not to be named because of fear that criminals could target him and his clients. “Business has really flourished and skyrocketed.”