August 27, 2008 |
The gruesome discoveries this week of five bodies, four of them decapitated, have shattered a period of relative calm and revived concerns that organized crime groups are escalating their battle for control of this border city. Two bodies were found Monday morning on a hillside, one with its head placed on its upper back. Three more bodies were discovered Tuesday morning in an illegal dump. Their heads, charred from gasoline burns, were placed at their feet, according to the Baja California state attorney general's office.
December 2, 2008 |
At least 38 people have been killed in Tijuana since Saturday, nine of them decapitated, in escalating drug-related violence that appears to have left in tatters a Mexican military offensive launched two weeks ago. The killing spree marked the end of the tenure of the city's top law enforcement official. Secretary of Public Security Alberto Capella Ibarra was removed from his post Monday evening after a year marked by upheaval in the police ranks and increasing violence.
February 9, 2009 |
Fernando Ocegueda hasn't seen his son since gunmen dragged the college student from the family's house three years ago. Alma Diaz wonders what happened to her son, Eric, a Mexicali police officer who left a party in 1995 and never returned. Arturo Davila still pounds on police doors looking for answers 11 years after his daughter and a girlfriend were kidnapped in downtown Ensenada.
October 26, 2010 |
Gunmen stormed a private drug treatment center in Tijuana and executed at least 13 men at close range, authorities in Baja California said Monday. The Sunday night attack was the first big assault on a clinic in the border city, where Mexican officials say their crackdown against drug gangs has weakened criminal groups and restored relative calm. Similar attacks have taken place on treatment centers in the northern state of Chihuahua, home to Ciudad Juarez, the country's most violent place.
June 11, 2008 |
In case decapitating their victims and dumping the heads in picnic coolers didn't make the point, the killers left a note. "This is a warning," it said, listing an alphabet soup of Mexican police agencies and the noms de guerre of several well-known drug figures. "You get what you deserve." The message, scrawled on a poster in black ink, accompanied four severed human heads that Mexican authorities recently found on a highway in the northern state of Durango.
January 11, 2010 |
It's been a bloody new year so far in this violence-racked city, leaving authorities stunned and apparently speechless. Three teenagers in school uniforms were mowed down by automatic-weapons fire Wednesday. Another youth was shot multiple times last week as he sat in his car outside his parents' upscale home. Four people were decapitated, at least 10 people were killed in drive-by attacks, and five people were kidnapped, including two security guards and a prominent businessman.
February 26, 2010 |
The claim has floated around for months, circulating among academics and critics of President Felipe Calderon's military-led war on Mexican drug gangs. It goes like this: Army and police operations that have included massive arrests, confiscation of drug shipments and numerous deadly shootouts, have left the largest and most powerful of the cartels relatively unscathed. The so-called Sinaloa cartel, based in the drug-rich Pacific state of the same name, has been allowed to escape most of the government's firepower and carry on with its illegal business as usual, according to this theory.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 24, 2010 |
Federal authorities announced a wide-ranging criminal case Friday against top leaders of a Tijuana-based drug cartel that ran much of its operations from the San Diego area, allegedly ordering murders, kidnappings and torture of rival traffickers in Mexico. The racketeering conspiracy case charges 43 cartel lieutenants, enforcers and drug traffickers, among them half a dozen current or former Mexican law enforcement officers, including a top official in the Baja California attorney general's office who allegedly passed along information obtained from U.S. law enforcement to cartel leaders.
October 6, 2008 |
The birthplace of one of Mexico's most infamous drug cartels looks more and more like its graveyard. Gunmen and associates of the Arellano Felix cartel, rulers of the city's criminal underworld for two decades, are being massacred by the score. Their mangled bodies turn up in garbage-strewn lots, a dozen at a time. Killers cut out their tongues, slice off heads, and leave behind taunting messages.
February 26, 2010 |
The manhunt was over. Raydel "Crutches" Lopez Uriarte, the alleged top enforcer for a vicious Tijuana drug gang that dissolved victims in lye, would now have to face justice. First, though, he would have to face the press. A day after his arrest, Lopez found himself standing woodenly with his hands cuffed behind him as news photographers snapped away at him and three others arrested in the same raid. The 30-year-old Lopez, one of the most dreaded figures on the border, had a trim goatee and combed hair, and wore a sensible checkered shirt and dark jeans that looked like they were meant for someone half a head taller.