Military style blazing Gun battles erupting between rival factions of a Mexican drug cartel gangs have left at least 15 people dead in the city of Tijuana, near the border with the US.
Tijuana police said the dead men belonged to the Arellano Felix cartel drug gang which is coming under more pressure than ever from a rival gangs and the Mexican army. It was not clear if the killed were a result of Mexican military action or rival Mexican cartels were responsible.
Over 200 people have been killed so far this year in and around Tijuana.
Since taking office in late 2006, President Felipe Calderon has sent some 30,000 soldiers and federal police to fight the drug cartels.
The Arellano Felix cartel rose to prominence in the 1980s.
According to government sources the Arellano Felix cartel has paid millions of dollars in bribes to local law enforcement officers and other high ranking officials, and is blamed for increasing violence, including the murder of informants and rival traffickers.
Much of the group’s activities centers on smuggling Mexican weed, Colombian and Afghanistan cocaine and other drugs along with Illegal aliens through Mexico to California.
Failure of coordination in the battle against these Mexican cartels is felt by many to be one of the reasons why ordering troops into the border areas by the Mexican president have not been effective and curtailed the violence. According to Raúl Benítez Manaut of the Center for Investigations of the Mexican National University (UNAM) the agencies involved in the fight against narcotics traffic in Mexico lack effective coordination. In addition, there are major tactical deficiencies in carrying out the narcotics war because there is no analysis of operations to determine if they are winning or losing, but rather favor international cooperation to confront the problem. “There is much conflict between the federal agencies,” he said in pointing out that in Mexico there is no bureaucratic tradition of presidential coordination or mechanism for joint operations. He explained that although President Felipe Calderón has tried to resolve the lack of coordination, building a strong presidency “different from that of Vicente Fox, which allowed everybody to do whatever,” it requires an explicit order to coordinate departments.
Calling U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, Tony Garza, “a paranoiac”, businessmen in Reynosa, Tamaulipas decried the labeling of the border area as insecure, resulting in an official U.S. travel advisory to tourists. In angry words, freely using the term “gringo,” the merchants said their side of the border was no more insecure than the U.S. side. They also maintain that the presence of army and police patrols should give assurance to the “gringo tourist.”
The National Association of Former Border Patrol Officers (NAFBPO)
Tijuana police dept.
El Universal (Mexico City)
Entorno de Tamaulipas