Saturday, April 26, 2008

Tijuana Under Siege, War on the Border

There's a war on our southern border. I live only a short 1 hour 42 minutes north of the war zone. Tijuana, Mexico is almost as bad as Gaza or Mogadishu. The city sitting on the US-Mexico border is awash in drugs, guns, and potential illegal aliens. The Mexican Army is increasing its presence tonight.

Early this morning, Saturday, 13 people had been killed in running gunfights between the Mexican Army and a drug cartel and between competing gangs within the cartel. Nine people were wounded, eight suspects and one Federal Police Officer. The dead are all drug traffickers.

Mexican forces recovered 21 vehicles, many with US license plates and a total of 54 guns. More than 1500 spent shell casings littered several parts of the city.

By the end of the day, a total of 17 bodies had been recovered. Rival gangs of the Arellano Felix drug cartel battled with rifles and machine guns throughout the streets of Tijuana despite the presence of 3000 soldiers of the Mexican Army. Across Mexico, President Felipe Calderon has deployed 25,000 Army soldiers.

Lizbeth Diaz, Reuters, in Tijuana writes, "Fourteen bodies were lying in pools of blood on a road near assembly-for-export maquiladora plants on the city's eastern limits. The corpses were surrounded by hundreds of bullet casings and many of their faces were destroyed."

Body mutilation and decapitation has become common among the Mexican drug gangs in the last couple of years. It's meant to strike fear into the hearts of any who would resist. Muslim terrorists have set up training camps in South America and Mexico although Mexican officials say that isn't possible.

Diaz continues, "Two of the dead were believed to be senior hitmen for the Arellano Felix cartel and were identified by large gold rings on their fingers. The rings carried the icon of Saint Death, a ghoulish figure that gangsters believe protects them, police said."

In Tijuana alone, 190 people have been killed. Across Mexico in 2007, more than 2,500 drug killing have occurred and more than 900 since January 2008. According to a report in the L.A. Times, "gunmen stormed the home of Tijuana Deputy Police Chief Margarito Saldana Rivera, killing him, his wife and two daughters, the youngest age 12" last January.

Last week, Gen. Sergio Aponte Polito wrote a letter to the Tijuana daily newspaper, Frontera, in which he "publicly identified about three dozen local, state and federal law enforcement officers who he alleges are in league with organized crime." The General, Baja Governor, Baja Attorneys General, and the Secretary of Public Safety were ordered to Mexico City yesterday by Pres. Calderon to meet with Federal Secretary of Defense and secretary of Federal Public Security. The situation rapidly degenerated into open shooting.

Baja California Attorney General Rommel Moreno calls it a war. He told a news conference, "Today shows we are facing a terrible war never seen before on the (US-Mexico) border."

Heavily armed soldiers and police are patrolling the streets tonight and are guarding the central hospital where the wounded suspects are being held and treated. Re-enforcements have been dispatched from Mexico City in anticipation of retaliatory attacks by the Feliz cartel. And now more than ever, the Felix cartel has to guard against the rival drug gang from Sinaloa state run by Mexico's most wanted gangster, Joaquin “Shorty” Guzman.

A Tijuana resident living near the site of the first shootout on Boulevard Insurgentes said "he was struck by how young and heavily armed some of the victims were. He said one fallen gunman had a revolver in each hand, an AK-47 slung over his shoulder and an AR-15 rifle at his side." All very Hollywood, but all that fire power didn't him any good. He's still dead.

There's a hot shooting war on our southern border.

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.


Mike's America said...

This cult of death mentality is being taken across the border by illegals who are gang members too.

I don't know how we are going to keep the lid on the violence on this side of the border much longer.

P.S. Your word verification thingee on comments is getting harder and harder to read. They seem to purposely run together letters like two "v"s that look like a "w". It sometimes takes me two or three tries before I get it right!

Indigo Red said...

You're right, Mike. I only wonder how soon we will see open gunfights in San Diego.

What the story doesn't contain is the fact that many in the Mexican military are members of the gangs doing the shooting. American Border Patrol Agents have been fired upon by uniformed Mexican soldiers, and the National Guardsmen have reported seeing Mexican Army personell crossing into US territory without permission and fire upon the Guardsmen.

We are now in an unofficial shooting war with Mexican gangs and Mexicam Army factions.

THe word verification is a pain. I keep clicking through until I get one I like.

Gayle said...

I've been posting my disgust with our southern border being wide open for as long as I've been blogging, but of course all I can do is bitch about it because our politicians are simply ignoring the problem. Perhaps this will wake someone up, but I'm not going to hold my breath! The entire thing is absolutely ridiculous and it was preventable but now it's too late! Please don't drive south anytime soon, Indigo. :(

The word verification thing is not only unreadable on your blog... I've had trouble on several blogs. I wish they'd fix it.

todd said...

Not far from the border myself I understand just how bad it has become. Back in the 1970’s south of the border was a popular destination for southlanders. Be it Tijuana Rosarito, Ensenada or the gulf sides San Felipe the beer was cold and cheap the food good the beaches uncrowded and the people were mostly friendly. The number one travel advisory, don’t drink the water. Millions of us yearly went down there for a day a weekend or more and we spent lots of money. The worst you had to worry about is a pickpocket or a corrupt policeman seeking dinner money. Not any more, I cant remember when I heard about anyone going down there. They must have lost millions perhaps billions in US dollars over the decades. When will they learn or is the question can they learn?