As Mexican national guard troops patrolled the streets of Tijuana and cruise lines canceled dockings in Ensenada over fears of violence, Baja California residents struggled Sunday to return to normal life after hooded bandits associated with criminal cartels effectively shut down much of the region Friday.
State officials said the assailants hijacked and burned at least two dozen vehicles and put up roadblocks around the state Friday evening. Messages also began circulating on social media, purportedly from the Jalisco New Generation cartel, declaring a curfew in Tijuana and warning residents to go home or risk being attacked. Many did, turning the normally frenetic zone of restaurants and bars around Avenida Revolución into a virtual ghost town.
By Saturday afternoon, hundreds of military troops and special forces had arrived in Tijuana to help restore order and reinforce security. Some 300 troops, along with 50 members of the national guard, were flown in to support 3,000 national guard troops and the 2,000-strong Tijuana police force that, according to the mayor, were already patrolling.
Just before noon Sunday, the U.S. Consulate in Tijuana announced on Twitter that it had rescinded an order issued Friday night that U.S. government personnel shelter in place.
One person was reportedly injured in the violence but no one was killed, according to government officials and news reports. It was the third time in a week that cartels unleashed widespread mayhem in cities across Mexico.
Days earlier, at least 11 people were killed in Ciudad Juárez, across from El Paso, in a series of attacks that targeted convenience stores, gas stations, and a pizza shop. Drug cartels also set fire to dozens of shops, buses, and cars and blockaded major roadways in the states of Jalisco and Guanajuato. Authorities in those states reported one fatality.
Federal officials said 17 suspects had been detained in connection with the violence, including seven people in Tijuana and four each in Rosarito and Mexicali.
Source: El Imparcial