Wave of Violence in Baja California: Mexican Army, National Guard Arrive in Tijuana

The Mexican federal government has sent at least 300 Army troops and 50 members of the National Guard to Tijuana to join another 3,000 members of the National Guard already patrolling the streets.

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The authorities of Baja California stated Saturday they continue to work to maintain peace in the state, as well as regain normality after the events that occurred on Friday afternoon and night.

The governor of Baja California, Marina Del Pilar reported through a press release, that she was in direct contact with the president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), and the entire Federal Government, to support coordinated actions that are being carried out in the state.

"It is time to be united so that together we can maintain the tranquility of all the families of Baja California," the governor said in her statement.

Mexican Army Arrives in Tijuana

In response to the wave of violence, the Mexican federal government sent a total of 300 Army troops and 50 members of the National Guard to Tijuana to join the other 3,000 members of the National Guard already in the state patrolling and keeping the peace.

"We are on alert in the state of Baja California and we will be serving the population," said Fernando Sanchez, Tijuana's security secretary.

17 People Arrested

According to the Secretariat of Security and Civilian Protection of the government of Mexico, 17 people believed to be part of the violent acts on Friday have been arrested.

Of those arrested, seven were in Tijuana; four in Rosarito; four in Mexicali, and two in Ensenada. Of these, three people, two men, and one woman were identified as members of the Cártel de Jalisco Nueva Generación (CJNG), according to government officials.

Baja California state officials said that 24 cars were burned throughout the state, 15 of them taking place in Tijuana, three in Rosarito, and two each in Mexicali, Ensenada and Tecate.

Authorities also reported that during the events, a bus driver was injured in Mexicali.

"I saw the way they got people off the bus and then threw gas at the bus and burned it," said Juan Reyes, a Tijuana resident who witnessed masked men wreak havoc across his city.

"The problem is serious, but it is not serious yet. We do not have homicides or injuries. No criminal group is going to tell us if we go out or not go out to the streets because our freedom is not going to be taken by anyone," said the mayor of Tijuana.

In Mexicali, at least one passenger bus was set on fire in the Tulichek Canal. At the time, only the vehicle's driver and one other person were inside the bus.

No injuries were reported in connection with that blaze, and authorities said the people responsible for the fire drove off in a black car. Baja California Gov. Marina del Pilar Ávila Olmeda said in a Tweet that her security team is alert and responding to the violence.


Wave of Violence Affects the Local Economy

"We ask the government to participate more and to do its job and do what they have to do. If the cartels have a problem with the government, they should go against the government, not against civilians or businesses,” said Vera, who is a tourist server.

The violent crimes represent a blow to the economy of the region. Revolution Avenue remained closed and under surveillance and some businesses did not open their doors on Saturday.

"We're practically empty in comparison to a normal Saturday. Forty percent of shops and businesses are closed and this is because they thought there was going to be a curfew enforced," said Julián Palombo, president of Canaco Tijuana.

Booths and Open Roads

The governor reported on Saturday that the booths and highways of Baja California were operating normally.

"Our government and its offices are already working in their entirety. As well as our medical services, such as clinics and hospitals," the governor said.

Police in Baja California are investigating reports of vehicle fires, roadblocks and violence across cities in the region on Friday, Aug. 2022.

Mass Events are Not Canceled

Despite the acts of violence that occurred in Rosarito, authorities said it's safe to continue with the Baja Beach Fest.

"We do not have any kind of alert since a statement was issued last night so our visitors and tourists who are at the festival should remain calm, the area is secured and we will continue to patrol," said Aracely Brown, mayor of Rosarito.

The mayor of Tijuana, Montserrat Caballero, mentioned through a statement that massive events are not canceled and that the opening of businesses was still allowed.

This story was originally reported by NBC 7's sister station, Telemundo 20. To read the article, click here.

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