Twenty-six people were murdered the first week of July in Tijuana for a total of 793 in the city and a total of 1,023 in the state of Baja for the course of the year. Most murders are associated with rival narcos disputing over territory killing either by gunshot wounds, strangulations, decapitations, or/and incinerations.
On June 30, on a pedestrian bridge in the outskirt neighborhood of Sánchez Taboada, a narco-banner threat read “Let it be clear you sissy dolls from Jalisco, the plaza is ours.” It was signed by the Sinaloa Cartel known by their Spanish initials CDS.
A response came two days later with a banner nearby that read “Here are your filthy people, we don’t fuck around,” signed by the Tijuana New Generation Cartel (CTNG) who is associated with the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG). It included a decapitated human head.
Not all murders are narco-related and/or exclusive to conflicted areas in the outskirts of the city. Violent crime seeps into what used to be quiet neighborhoods, casting fear, and making you wonder if what you heard were gunshots or just fireworks.
The most notable account was the cold-blooded murder by three gunshots of the 54-year-old Doctor Alma Angelica Ciani, the sister of ESPN journalist Odín Ciani. She was murdered on Monday, July 3, around noon inside of her clinic in Colonia Libertad, one of the oldest neighborhoods in Tijuana situated near the San Ysidro border.
“Yesterday, here in Tijuana... in the presence of her son, her daughter, and my mother, a delinquent went inside [the clinic] to murder my sister, and with three gunshots he killed her,” teary-eyed and with his voice breaking, Odín Ciani comments on a video posted on his Twitter account on July 4.
“I demand from you Mr. President, and to you Secretariat of the Interior, and to you the State Governor, and to Mexican authorities, we can’t go on living like this. I demand this situation to be resolved. I demand of you because of the insecurity we are living in Mexico. It is not fair that Mexico is living this situation. It happened to me today, it will happen to you tomorrow. And for everyone that has suffered this type of situation. Please Mr. President, please Osorio Chong, do not let this go on.”
Both the president of Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto, and the secretariat of the interior, Osorio Chong were tagged on the Twitter video.
“Like a nightmare without ending, without answers, that’s how we are living the murder of my sister. Mexico is kidnapped and stained with blood.” Odín Ciani tweeted on July 10.
The doctor had no criminal background or connections. The crime so far goes unsolved, authorities deem it a mistake or mix-up.
Ninety-two percent of Tijuana citizens believe that the city is insecure, according to a poll from June 22 by Percepción Ciudadana (Citizens Perception). The same poll indicates that 48 percent do not feel safe walking in their neighborhood between 4-7 p.m., and 70 percent do not trust the local police. The majority of the crimes go unreported.
Tijuana turned 128 years old on July 10. The bloodiest two years in Tijuana’s history were 2009 with 1,118 and 2010 with 1,256 murders. This year is on its way to break that record. Tijuanenses yearn for calmer years like 2012, which had 312 murders.