Tijuana surpassed 2,000 homicides in 2019, largely due to cartel turf wars. The border city is now approaching its 2018 record of 2,518 killings.
The 2,000-death mark was reached after several attempts by the federal government to deploy additional personnel to the beleaguered city.
The most recent documented acts of violence began late Sunday and during the early hours of Monday with the discovery of two unidentified murder victims between the ages of 30 and 50. Both were reportedly shot execution-style, according to Breitbart Texas law enforcement sources and local media. Police located the victims after responding to a 911 call at approximately 2:20am in colonia Cañón de la Raza in the Cerro Colorado section. Investigators reported several 9mm shell casings next to the deceased.
Another victim identified as José Refugio Pirul González, 40, died at approximately 10:30am on Monday from severe injuries sustained in what investigators believe was a physical beating. The victim died after being transported to Hospital General de Tijuana on Sunday evening.
Another murder victim was reported in colonia Ejido Matamoros Horóscopo. Investigators responded to the area after receiving a 911 call and found a male murder victim of approximately 20-25 years. The victim sustained what appeared to be an execution-style gunshot wound to the head. Investigators reported recovering at least one .45 caliber shell casing at the scene.
The bloodshed is generally related to a bitter turf war involving Cártel Tijuana Nueva Generación (CTNG), aligned with El Cártel de Jalisco Nueva Generación, against the Sinaloa Cartel. In some areas of the city, rival factions or gangs aligned within the Sinaloa Cartel are fighting among each other for control of the lucrative street-level markets and smuggling routes into the United States.
The overwhelming majority of homicides in Tijuana are attributed to street-level gangs distributing primarily affordable, high-grade methamphetamine and heroin on behalf of the major cartels. Many of these pushers are targets of rip-crews looking for cash and drugs. Earlier this week, Breitbart Texas reported about 18 homicides recorded in the Tijuana metropolitan area in less than a 24-hour period.
Tijuana Homicides by Month (Official Statistics)
January – 220
February – 145
March – 152
April – 184
May – 193
June – 217
July – 231
August – 198
September – 185
October – 156
Robert Arce is a retired Phoenix Police detective with extensive experience working Mexican organized crime and street gangs. Arce completed work assignments in the Balkans, Iraq, Haiti, and recently completed a three-year tour in Monterrey, Mexico, for the U.S. Department of State, International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Program.