Cartel-related violence continues at an alarming rate in Tijuana with a series of homicides over the past weekend, bringing the total dead in April to 171. Year-to-date, the city shows 683 killed according to official counts.
The most recent violence reported by local media began during the early morning hours Saturday in colonia Valle Redondo, where the body of an unidentified male murder victim was found abandoned on the street with a taunting message scrawled on cardboard. A few hours later at approximately 9 am, the body of another unidentified male was found on the street in colonia 3 de Octobre in Los Pinos section. Like the earlier victim, the cause of death was not released by authorities.
Just after 1 pm in the Ejido Lázaro Cárdenas section, a woman was murdered by gunfire by unknown suspects as she was traveling in a vehicle with her husband and child. The two-year-old daughter was also injured but is expected to survive. Several hours later, the body of an unknown male was found stabbed to death in El Refugio subdivision of La Presa neighborhood.
In the early morning hours of Sunday, the body of an unknown male was found dumped in the street just before 3 am in colonia La Mesa, apparently dead from blunt instrument injuries. An additional seven were wounded by gunfire on Saturday alone but are expected to survive.
Late Sunday, an unknown male was shot in the head and abdomen in colonia Santa Cruz. He was found along a dirt road and had two cell phones with him.
The record-breaking bloodshed is generally related to turf wars involving Cártel Tijuana Nueva Generación (CTNG), aligned with El Cártel de Jalisco Nueva Generación, against the Sinaloa Cartel. In some areas, rival factions within the Sinaloa Cartel are fighting for control of the lucrative street-level markets and smuggling routes into the United States. The new criminal justice system implemented nationwide in 2016 is also blamed since many street-level dealers and users are in and out of custody rather quickly—only to become involved in homicide cases over drug disputes. Several governors and state attorneys general admitted to Breitbart News that the new justice system is 10 to 15 years from being properly functional due to the drastic procedural overhauls.
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.)