Walking near a news stand in Los Angeles this morning, I couldn’t miss this front-page headline (left) about Tijuana’s latest troubles with violence. Yet another indication of how I keep on bumping into the border up here.
English-language media are reporting that more than a dozen people were killed in Tijuana over the weekend, and it appears that some of those victims were killed execution style and then lit on fire. That seems to be a pretty high body count to me as I jog my memory. This story from 2006 was about six bodies being found in a two-day time period and seven bodies found in a two-day period just prior to to that.
I’m not going to dwell too much on this latest story. I’ll leave it to the reporters trying to sort out exactly how many bodies were found and what was done to them. Suffice to say that drug groups do this kind of thing and that after covering seven years of crazy murders that involved beheadings in Rosarito Beach and a guy who took a ride on his motorcycle with a corpse strapped to his back, nothing really amazes me much. Violence is symptomatic, and here the deeper story has to do with the demand for drugs north of the border and Mexico’s struggles to address social inequalities and corruption while creating a democracy that can stand up to these challenges. Scary headlines aside, the drug cartels could care less about the typical tourist going to Tijuana for “two for one” margaritas and donkey/zebra photos.
For more on the killings: