Cartel killings in Tijuana continued at an alarming rate with 207 registered in April, bringing the total for 2018 to 758—a 67 percent increase over the same period in 2017.
According to statistics reported by the State Secretariat of Public Security (SSPE), there were 453 homicides during the first quarter of 2017, with 103 homicides in January; 108 in February; 122 in March; and 120 in April.
For 2018, there were 191 homicides in January; 177 in February; 183 in March; and 207 in April.
There were five reported homicides within 11 hours on April 30, according to information released by the state attorney general’s office.
At 10:20 am, a 44-year-old male identified as Adrián Torres Gutiérrez died of gunshot wounds at a local hospital.
At 10:30 am, a male identified as Heraclio Martínez Aragol died of gunshot wounds at the same hospital.
At 3:30 pm, an unidentified male with an approximate age of 55 was gunned down in colonia Independencia while standing in front of a neighborhood market.
Later in the day in colonia Libertad, a male identified as Everardo Ortiz Rodríguez, 45, was gunned down in front of a residence.
Finally, at 9:44 pm, a 68-year-old male identified as José Zazueta Soto was shot dead while standing on a street corner in colonia Los Arenales.
The bloodshed continues despite the deployment of 400 elements of the Mexican Army to crack down on cartel violence plaguing the once-popular tourist destination, as previously reported by Breitbart Texas.
Tijuana sits on the U.S. border with California, approximately 17 miles south of San Diego. Cartel violence is attributed to a resurgence of remnants from the Cártel de Los Arellano Félix, which is now operating under the name of Cártel Tijuana Nueva Generación (CTNG). The group aligns itself with El Cártel de Jalisco Nueva Generación.
The two criminal groups are engaged in a turf dispute with the Sinaloa Cartel. In some areas, rival factions within the Sinaloa Cartel are fighting for control of the lucrative street-level markets and valuable routes leading into the United States. Those involved in the killings are primarily low-level street dealers, lookouts, customers, and enforcers for these individual criminal gangs. Many of these street-level dealers are targets of rip-crews looking for cash and drugs.
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 out of the U.S. consulate general in Monterrey, Mexico, working 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.) You can follow him on Twitter. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org