Rapid Homicide Rise In Tijuana Signals Intensifying Drug War


Five victims were shot inside a seafood restaurant, four were decapitated, and one was shot and hanged from a bridge. The San Diego Union-Tribune says that a surge in gangland-style killings in Tijuana is being linked to two rival drug-trafficking groups vying for control of the region. Since the weekend, the death toll has mounted rapidly: Of 71 homicides reported this month, 24 took place Tuesday and yesterday. Many recent victims were men in their 20s; the youngest was 14 and the oldest appeared close to 60.

“We are witnessing a war between drug traffickers,” said Rommel Moreno Manjarrez, Baja California's attorney general. Many of those who have been killed are low-level operatives in the trafficking organizations, and many have criminal records, he said. “From every angle, this points to organized crime,” Rommel said. Said Victor Clark, a human-rights activist: “This is the dynamic of the war. Violence leaves them depleted, they rearm themselves, and once again charge ahead.” The rivalries led to a record number of 844 homicides in Tijuana last year. The total so far this year is 603.

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