In an interview published this week in Baja’s daily Sol de Tijuana, Guillermo Diaz, the president of Tijuana’s downtown merchant association, stated that TJ cops are still extorting big bucks from tourists, primarily U.S. citizens who arrive in vehicles.
Diaz said that — despite claims to the contrary by other public officials — shakedowns are a primary reason why tourism is down in the border city.
“[Police] see American plates on a car in town and they stop them,” said Diaz. Tourists have complained that each time they pass through Tijuana, they are subjected to “bajones y mordidas,” slang for extortion money paid to police.
Diaz alluded to the fact that it’s easy to spot a disproportionate number of U.S. vehicles being stopped by municipal police in the Zona Norte area. Diaz said there has been a lot of talk about doing something about this problem but little effective action has been taken.