NPR Story
1:53 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

Tijuana Homicides Increase, Despite Cartels' Alleged Calls For Quiet

The number of homicides in Tijuana is spiking.

On Friday, the number totaled 192 homicides in Tijuana, and 61 of these deaths — or 31 percent — occurred in April.

The U-T San Diego reports these crimes are a consequence of small-scale drug dealers battling in the city’s eastern working-class neighborhoods.

“The forms have changed,” said Victor Clark, a human rights activist and longtime observer of organized crime in Tijuana. “This is not the scandalous violence of 2008,” he said. Still, the increase “is of concern, because it speaks to the fragile equilibrium” of criminal groups operating in the region, Clark said.

In 2008, murders jumped to 844, a violent plateau where bodies were more of messages by cartels, with some hanging from bridges.

As reported by the Tijuana weekly paper Zeta, such increased violence is something that the Sinaloa cartel wants to avoid. The original article was extrapolated by In Sight Crime:

One of the Sinaloa Cartel's top leaders, Ismael Zambada Garcia, alias "El Mayo," issued a warning to at least eight sub-commanders responsible for overseeing drug trafficking operations in Baja California to "stop heating up the plaza" – that is, clamp down on homicides that could be disrupting the international drug trade and attracting too much of the government's attention.

But the calls to make Tijuana, a high smuggling corridor, more quiet might be hard to follow. The warning was reportedly issued to eight leaders who are in hideouts across the country.

As a result their Tijuana operations are being run by “more undisciplined and inexperienced family members, who are more prone to using violence as a way to resolve disputes.”

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