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Multiple suspects, who have been arrested in connection with at least one of the recent homicides in Tijuana, have admitted to taking orders from a United States prison inmate. According to authorities, six suspects were arrested in connection with the murder of a man in Playas de Tijuana on Monday, April 15th. Two of those suspects have strong ties to the San Diego area, claiming to be members of the “Vista Homeboys” gang, from Vista, California. The other suspects claim to have been only lookouts during the shooting.

The two men believed to be the shooters, Leonides “El Scrappy” Zurita Díaz and Fernando Rafael Balderas Silva, are believed to have done prison time in the U.S. and to have recently been deported. The two claim they took orders from a California prison inmate to kill at least 5 people in the Tijuana area. Authorities stated they arrested the men after killing their first target.

Authorities displayed the suspects, along with weapons and a small amount of narcotics, for local press and released statements concerning the case on Tuesday, April 16th.

Authorities stressed that despite an increase in homicides, the vast majority are related to drug trafficking activities. An estimated 125 of the 150 homicides in 2013 are said to have ties to the narcotic industry. The attorney general stated specifically that most of the narcotic disputes are related to crystal methamphetamine and its distribution.

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