Mexico: the wave of violence that led the government to deploy the army in Tijuana and other cities

The state of Baja California, Mexico, was hit by a wave of arson fires, burning nearly 30 vehicles and blocking roads on Friday night.

The government of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has blamed the chaos on powerful caJalisco New Generation drug cartel.

Authorities have suggested that several cartels are involved in a power struggle and at least 17 people have been arrested in the most recent unrest, local media reported.

Tijuana will remain “open”

On Saturday, few people ventured out onto the streets of Tijuana, with stores closed and university classes cancelled. Many bus services also stopped operating.

The mayor of Tijuana, Montserrat Caballero, urged drug gangs to stop the violence.

“Today we are telling the organized crime groups that are committing these crimes that Tijuana is going to stay open and take care of its citizens,” he said in a video.

“We also ask them to settle their debts with those who did not pay what they owe, not with working families and citizens.”

Some 350 additional soldiers were sent to Tijuana on Saturday, and Caballero said they were deployed around 3.000 soldiers and 2.000 police across the state to restore order.

Reuters
An additional 350 soldiers were sent to Tijuana on Saturday.

The governor of the state, Marina del Pilar, promised to “apply all the strength of our Government so that there is peace and we find those responsible for these attacks.”

The US consulate said in a statement that it is “aware of reports of multiple vehicle firesroadblocks and heavy police activity” in several cities in the region and urged its employees to take refuge.

Tijuana is on the border with the United States and the area around the city is a lucrative drug trafficking route.

While it has long been controlled by the Arellano Félix cartel, it is believed to have become a battleground between various other gangs.

Earlier this week, drug cartel gunmen burned down vehicles and businesses in the western states of Jalisco and Guanajuato, after authorities tried to arrest a Jalisco cartel leader.

A gang riot at a prison in the border city of Ciudad Juárez quickly spread to the streets, killing 11 people Thursday.


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