A murdered woman was discovered in Colonia Magisterial shortly after midnight on Monday, January 3. Her body bore the marks of torture and abuse, and she was reportedly shot multiple times at another locale; no expended cartridges were found near the body. Officers did find a narcomensaje near her corpse, linking the murder to the city's drug underworld.
The woman, still not identified, was described as between 30 and 35 years old. She had tattoos linking her to a cult unique to Latin America that patronizes “Saint Death”; “Santa Muerte” is more often associated with the lower classes and the criminal world. (“The precise origins of the cult of Santa Muerte are a matter of debate,” according to the Wikipedia entry, “but it is most likely a syncretism between Mesoamerican and Catholic beliefs.”)
Later, at around 7:00 a.m., officers received a tip that a human head was swinging from the Distribudor Morelos bridge in Colonia Panamericano. This time the disembodied victim was a male between 25 and 30 years old. The head had been pierced by several gunshot wounds and was affixed to a nylon rope with a metal ring. Accompanying the head was another narcomensaje. The body has yet to be found.
Authorities have drawn no publicly announced conclusions regarding connections to the murders, even though both crime scenes included the discovery of narcomensajes.
Last year, 834 murders were committed in Tijuana — 20 people in the first five days.
Sources: various Tijuana newspapers
Image: shrine of a Santa Muerte saint
Photo source: Wikimedia Commons