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Tijuana elections: severed heads in a box and foam cooler, chopped torso in a bag

Voter participation up eight percent

Burned ballots
Burned ballots

Last Sunday, Baja California held one of the biggest elections in its history. Mayors' positions for Tijuana, Tecate, Mexicali, Rosarito, and Ensenada were in dispute, plus state governor and deputies. More than 4,800 polling places were set up in the state, most of them installed in the main cities, Mexicali and Tijuana. In the latter, three boxes with ballots were burned with gasoline and Molotov cocktails.

“The boys spread the gasoline, and then the man threw a Molotov bomb.”

One of those poll boxes is the one registered with the number 1560 located in Villa Fontana neighborhood; the box caught fire after three people spread gasoline over it. Rodolfo Ozuna Espina, the second in charge of the poll workers, said with a trembling voice that he saw suspicious behavior of three men who stayed around the booths for hours.

“We were focused on our job, but I saw a man with two teenagers; the man was claiming to be an observer from a political party. Then he took advantage of us when I went to the bathroom. “The boys spread the gasoline, and then the man threw a Molotov bomb.”

The event happened around 5 pm, one hour before the official closure of the elections at 6 pm, and at the very rush hour of a Sunday in one of the most crowded commercial plazas in that area.

In the midst of screams “lynch him” they handed him over to the police.

The fire burned ballots for governor and federal deputies and caused outward injuries to Raul Fermin, an older man who got gasoline on his eye while waiting for his wife to finish her work as a poll worker.

“The vast majority of ballots will be canceled, but the votes for mayor of the city are saved. We won’t let them waste our elections.”

The neighbors detained one of those presumably responsible for starting the fire, in the middle of screams of “lynch him” handed him over to the police, who later confirmed that the detained subject was a 13-year-old male.

In Urbi Villas del Prado two buses were burned, plus the 14 murders that the Tijuana Police Department confirmed the next day.

Three miles away from that place, around the same time in the busy street Mariano Matamoros, a hooded man started a fire on the poll station number 1154. According to witnesses, the men got out of a car without plates, soaked the ballot boxes, set them on fire, and escaped.

In videos filmed by poll workers, burning votes could be seen as people screamed and asked for police, who did not appear even when the poll station was on the sidewalk of the main avenue that crosses the whole neighborhood, next to another commercial plaza.

Early in the morning in station 1440 in Terrazas del Valle neighborhood, a human head inside of a cardboard box was left at the table where citizens would be counting votes of their neighbors. Reports said that around 9:30 am a man dropped the box and left on foot but didn’t get caught. A couple of minutes after in surrounding areas close to another poll station a chopped torso was found inside a plastic bag.

On noon another head was found in Mariano Matamoros inside of a foam cooler, and in Urbi Villas del Prado two buses were burned, plus the 14 murders that the Tijuana Police Department confirmed the next day. The National Electoral Institute reported 14 cases of stolen ballot boxes in the whole state, two of which, took place in Tijuana.

Despite all this violence during Election Day in Baja California, the National Electoral Institute registered 37 percent on electorate participation, which means an increase of eight percent compared with 2019, when just 29 percent of the population registered in the electoral institute cast their ballots.

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Burned ballots
Burned ballots

Last Sunday, Baja California held one of the biggest elections in its history. Mayors' positions for Tijuana, Tecate, Mexicali, Rosarito, and Ensenada were in dispute, plus state governor and deputies. More than 4,800 polling places were set up in the state, most of them installed in the main cities, Mexicali and Tijuana. In the latter, three boxes with ballots were burned with gasoline and Molotov cocktails.

“The boys spread the gasoline, and then the man threw a Molotov bomb.”

One of those poll boxes is the one registered with the number 1560 located in Villa Fontana neighborhood; the box caught fire after three people spread gasoline over it. Rodolfo Ozuna Espina, the second in charge of the poll workers, said with a trembling voice that he saw suspicious behavior of three men who stayed around the booths for hours.

“We were focused on our job, but I saw a man with two teenagers; the man was claiming to be an observer from a political party. Then he took advantage of us when I went to the bathroom. “The boys spread the gasoline, and then the man threw a Molotov bomb.”

The event happened around 5 pm, one hour before the official closure of the elections at 6 pm, and at the very rush hour of a Sunday in one of the most crowded commercial plazas in that area.

In the midst of screams “lynch him” they handed him over to the police.

The fire burned ballots for governor and federal deputies and caused outward injuries to Raul Fermin, an older man who got gasoline on his eye while waiting for his wife to finish her work as a poll worker.

“The vast majority of ballots will be canceled, but the votes for mayor of the city are saved. We won’t let them waste our elections.”

The neighbors detained one of those presumably responsible for starting the fire, in the middle of screams of “lynch him” handed him over to the police, who later confirmed that the detained subject was a 13-year-old male.

In Urbi Villas del Prado two buses were burned, plus the 14 murders that the Tijuana Police Department confirmed the next day.

Three miles away from that place, around the same time in the busy street Mariano Matamoros, a hooded man started a fire on the poll station number 1154. According to witnesses, the men got out of a car without plates, soaked the ballot boxes, set them on fire, and escaped.

In videos filmed by poll workers, burning votes could be seen as people screamed and asked for police, who did not appear even when the poll station was on the sidewalk of the main avenue that crosses the whole neighborhood, next to another commercial plaza.

Early in the morning in station 1440 in Terrazas del Valle neighborhood, a human head inside of a cardboard box was left at the table where citizens would be counting votes of their neighbors. Reports said that around 9:30 am a man dropped the box and left on foot but didn’t get caught. A couple of minutes after in surrounding areas close to another poll station a chopped torso was found inside a plastic bag.

On noon another head was found in Mariano Matamoros inside of a foam cooler, and in Urbi Villas del Prado two buses were burned, plus the 14 murders that the Tijuana Police Department confirmed the next day. The National Electoral Institute reported 14 cases of stolen ballot boxes in the whole state, two of which, took place in Tijuana.

Despite all this violence during Election Day in Baja California, the National Electoral Institute registered 37 percent on electorate participation, which means an increase of eight percent compared with 2019, when just 29 percent of the population registered in the electoral institute cast their ballots.

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