More than 50 murders marked one of Tijuana’s most bloody weeks of drug cartel violence that included beheadings as well as the death of an American mother of two who was having dinner with her husband on the Mexico-side of the border at a new restaurant Wichos Tacos.
The shootout between drug cartels reportedly included only low-level players, yet the high-stakes game of the drug business doesn’t discriminate against those caught in the crossfire and this time it was an American citizen killed. Yajaira Orozco of San Diego was murdered and her husband, Raul was shot in the leg and is expected to make a full recovery.
“It was the wrong place and the wrong time,” the grief-stricken husband/father said.
The war zone region of Mexico also resulted in the discovery of three boys bodies inside a Tijuana neighborhood; authorities surmise the boys were victims of kidnappers. The unidentified boys expose the especially dark-side of cartel life proving no one is safe in the country until the government reclaims control of Mexico.
Another aspect of the week-long murder spree is the cost to law enforcement. At least one policeman succumbed to his injuries and another Ministerial Police officer was kidnapped and his whereabouts remain unknown.
Mid week proved especially brutal in Tijuana as reports of 11 murders took place during a 24-hour period including a couple who were found beheaded and a “narcomensaje” (a message from drug cartels left on dead bodies) in popular beach tourist area known as Rosarito Beach.
In an effort to quell the fears of American citizens who have avoided Baja in recent years causing the economic downturn to spiral in an already depressed country, Mayor Jerry Sanders of San Diego announced the joint operation of Metropolitan Tourist Police.
The joint effort between the Mexican Police and the San Diego Police Department hopes to train 22 Mexican law enforcement officers to better respond to tourists needs and lure Americans to the sites south of the border.
During the daylong training session, Mexican agents were given instruction for an array of topics including gangs, ethics, patrol tactics and how to interact with tourists.
“Visitors need to know that there is someone who is there for them on the other side of the border,” said Giovanni Malinchrynni a Rosarito Beach Police officer. This daylong training hopes to erase the bad images most have regarding the Baja region, according to training authorities.
However, security expert, Rick Sweeney of SECFOR International says the daylong training won’t do much. He explains many of the same Mexican officials cross the border to learn new techniques and most return to Mexico, sit in their office chairs and forget about the training provided by the U.S. law enforcement.
“To stay vigilant south of the border it is up to officers to remain on guard 100 percent of the time, however, I can drive by security officers anytime and tell they have relaxed in to their old ways,” Sweeney said. “Nothing changes down there and I would never recommend anyone traveling to Mexico and for our U.S. government to do so is wrong.”
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