Mexican Army Arrives in Tijuana to Quell Cartel Violence

drug traffickers fired upon military helicopters
AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills

A total of 400 elements of the Mexican Army were dispatched to Tijuana to help crack down on the ongoing cartel violence that plagues the once-popular tourist destination.

Gabriel García Rincón, Commander of the II Military Region, stated that 400 arrived in Tijuana, Baja California, to support the local authorities responsible for security and the fight against organized crime which has been deemed responsible for the record-breaking violence. This announcement was made during a Day of the Army celebration according to local media outlets. Reports from social media indicate that military patrols have begun in the most affected areas where local law enforcement has been overwhelmed and are unable to stop daily killings between rival cartels. Helicopter surveillance patrols from the Baja California Attorney General’s office (PGR) have also been provided.

Commander Gabriel García Rincón stated during a press conference, “Our troops are working day and night to prevent drugs from reaching our children and our youth.” According to government sources, the Mexican Army will be working jointly with municipal and state police with the goal of bringing a halt to the violence that has terrorized this border city.

Francisco Rueda Gómez, the Secretary-General of Governance for the State of Baja California, emphasized the security arrangement will also include elements of the State Attorney General’s Office (PGR) and the Federal Police.

The mayor of Tijuana, Juan Manuel Gastélum Buenrostro, said during a recent press conference that they are having extreme difficulty in police recruiting for qualified candidates able to pass the required background checks. He mentioned that he was going to speak with the Secretary-General of Governance for the state to find a solution for the problem. Gastélum Buenrostro indicated that he was not going to ask for lower security standards but instead change the physical requirements which have eliminated numerous qualified candidates otherwise. The background check challenge has spread nationally.

Breitbart Texas has reported extensively about the ongoing cartel violence affecting the city. In 2017, Tijuana registered 1,734–smashing the 2016 record of 910. The murder rate continues to climb as rival drug cartels battle over control of key trafficking routes and street-level distribution, according to local media reports. The escalation can be attributed to the hostilities between the Sinaloa Cartel and their one-time ally, Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generacion (CJNG).

Robert Arce is a retired Phoenix Police detective with extensive experience working Mexican organized crime and street gangs. Arce has worked in the Balkans, Iraq, Haiti, and recently completed a three-year assignment in Monterrey, Mexico, working out of the Consulate for the United States Department of State, International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Program, where he was the Regional Program Manager for Northeast Mexico (Coahuila, Tamaulipas, Nuevo Leon, Durango, San Luis Potosi, Zacatecas.)

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