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A drug tunnel headed toward the U.S. border was found in Mexicali on Saturday following a tip.
Also, the former head of the Baja California state police, who had become police chief of a city in Morelos state, was slain along with an aide in Guerrero state. Justo
Buenaventura Jaimes Villareal, a former army major, had only been police chief of Amacuzac four days when he and Carlos Bahena Martínez were slain on the highway between Amacuzac and Iguala. Amacuzac is close to the Guerrero border and not far from Puente de Ixtla, Morelos, and Taxco, Guerrero.
Jaimes Villareal became head of the Baja California state police in December 2007 but was forced out in July 2008 for irregularities, including the controversial firing of a gun in the Mexicali restaurant Pampas that month, the firing of a rifle of his office, and improper use of a state police helicopter. In the restaurant shooting, the then-head of the Second Military Region, Sergio Aponte, was present and was at first blamed, and this apparently was part of the reason for Aponte's departure from the post the next month.
The 40-meter, incomplete drug tunnel headed toward the U.S. border was found on Avenida Madero between Bravo and México streets in Mexicali's historic center. Frontera reported that Carlos Alberto Hernández Montero, 39, was detained.
Stories in Frontera on the tunnel and Jaimes Villareal killing (PDF).
Zeta's story about the July 2008 Mexicali restaurant shooting.
Baja California get new military commander
Six members of a family of toy merchants returning from a street market in Tultitlán were killed around 3 a.m. Thursday in Ecatepec, El Universal reported. The family of four men and two women, returning in two vehicles from the market, were intercepted by armed men in two vehicles. The armed men drove off in a vehicle containing toys the merchants were planning to sell.
Elsewhere in Mexico, at least 27 other people were killed. They included six in Chihuahua's Sierra Tarahumara region; five in Durango; four in Torreón; and 12 killed by the military in Río Grande, Zacatecas.
Stories in Frontera (PDF).
Tijuana had its first bank robbery of the year on Thursday, as a Banorte at the intersection of Díaz Ordaz Boulevard and Mariscal Sucre at Plaza Los Olivos in La Mesa district was hit. The bank is not far from the Rodríguez Dam in eastern Tijuana.
Last month, authorities said bank robberies in Tijuana had dropped 91%, Frontera reported (PDF). There were eight bank robberies last year, and suspects were arrested in six of them. Thursday's bank robbery was the first in the city since September.
Frontera said the month with the most killings was January, with 47. The paper said January usually is the month with the most homicides.
The 2011 murder toll was Tijuana's lowest since 2007. The highest total in a year was 2008, with 844.
The paper quoted state prosecutor Abel Galván Gallardo as saying 80% of the homicides were attributed to small-scale drug dealing.
Statewide, there were 643 homicides in 2012, a drop of 16% from the 761 recorded in 2011. While Mexicali and Ensenada recorded increases, Rosarito and Tecate saw major drops (see table below).
|Year||Tijuana murders||Mexicali murders||Ensenada murders||Rosarito murders||Tecate murders||BC murders|
|% rise/ fall||-||+14%||-19%||+65%||-20%||-18%||+150%||-21%||+23%||-42%||-23%|
Update, Jan. 5: Frontera story on Ensenada's killings in 2012. Story (PDF).
Frontera newspaper reported that there was one violent death during the week ending Dec. 30. There also were 37 vehicle thefts and 41 arrests involving drug possession. Frontera's Insecurity Barometer.
|Publication date||Violent deaths in Tijuana by week according to Frontera's Insecurity Barometer|
|Dec. 17, 24||No Insecurity Barometer|
|Oct. 15||no Insecurity Barometer|
|July 2||page did not run|
|April 16||page did not run|
|Total||143 — does not include January, or weeks ending April 15, July 1, Oct. 14 and Dec. 16 and 23|
Tijuana had reported 362 homicides for the year, a far higher total than that obtained by adding up the numbers in Frontera's weekly count.
* The six deaths listed appear to be low as two stories mentioning seven violent deaths ran at the bottom of the page.
Crime news week ending Dec. 30
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