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Tijuana sets record homicide rate in 2017 as cartel violence continues to rage

January 13, 2018  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Tijuana sets record homicide rate in 2017 as cartel violence continues to rage Frontera

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The raging cartel violence continuing to grip Tijuana was the main catalyst for the record high murder rate in the Mexican border city.

Tijuana recorded 1,734 for 2017–surpassing the previous year’s high of 910.

The total number signifies a 90% increase in homicides, making 2017 the most violent year to date, , Frontera reported.

The murder rate continues to increase as rival cartels fight for control of crucial trafficking territories and street-level distribution. The escalation can be attributed to the fighting between the Sinaloa Cartel and their former ally, Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generacion (CJNG).

According to State Attorney General Perla del Socorro Ibarra Leyva, no more than 12% of the first 1,500 murder investigations last year resulted in indictments.

Another contributing factor cited by Marco Antonio Sotomayor Amezca, Tijuana’s Chief of Police, is the New Criminal Justice System (NSJP) which was implemented in June 2016,

Chief Sotomayor said the NSJP had been an obstacle for police since most people arrested, even for those with weapons or drugs, are released after 48 hours. Many of these individuals are involved or contributing to cartel violence.

In November, because of the escalation of violence, the local morgue faced a huge crisis.

During a news conference with Governor Francisco Vega de Lamadrid, he said that the Servicio Médico Forense (SEMEFO) lacked space due to the constant flow of murder victims.

SEMEFO could not keep up with the daily influx while outdated equipment caused bodies to decompose. The Governor added that new equipment was being acquired and plans were being made to increase operations.

Lamadrid noted that one contributing factor was unclaimed bodies, which requires burials in common graves.

As new year arrived, the wave of violence continued, with at least 11 killed in the first two days of 2018, including five murdered in a tire shop on January 2nd.

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