Tijuana’s downtown prostitutes are straying outside the area in which they are allowed to offer their services legally, prompting city officials to promise a crackdown on the wayward streetwalkers.
According to accounts in both El Mexicano and El Sol de Tijuana, two Baja California dailies, the women are allowed to offer themselves for sale only on Calle Primera between Avenida Niños Héroes and Avenida D in the Zona Norte. But lately the women have been wandering away from the so-called “zone of tolerance” into other areas of downtown, principally along Avenida Revolución, in Plaza Santa Cecilia, and in Plaza Bicentenario (in front of the old cathedral downtown), the newspapers reported.
In an effort to persuade the women to return to the Zona Norte, police have been stopping suspected prostitutes outside the zone and asking them for their health cards. The cards, issued periodically by health officials, serve as proof that the prostitute in question has no sexually transmitted diseases. The cards are required by the city for anyone seeking legal status as a prostitute. Failure to produce a valid, current health card is a criminal offense and can result in a fine or jail time.
For the time being, city officials told the newspapers, they prefer to use persuasion to encourage the working women to return to the Zona Norte. If that fails, other police operations will be considered.