Increasing demand for drugs locally fueling ongoing violence in Tijuana

Border Crime

TIJUANA (Border Report) — Friday morning, a black duffle bag was discovered on the streets of Tijuana filled with body remains including two legs, and not too far away, a black plastic bag was located containing a decapitated human torso.

This type of discovery has become common place as the level of violence and the number of murders in this city remains high.

In the first 15 days of 2021, 79 murders have already been documented in the city of Tijuana. There were 2,000 last year with another 2,208 in 2019.

According to Ev Meade of the Trans-Border Institute at the University of San Diego, there are other figures that also stand out about Tijuana.

Ev Meade is the Director of the Trans-Border Institute at the University of San Diego. (Salvador Rivera/Border Report)

“Organized crime, number one, domestic drug market, number one, number of prison inmates, number one, Mexico’s peace index, 32 out of 32.”

Meade says it’s no secret most of the homicides are attributed to the drug wars on the streets of Tijuana, although it’s now different in terms of who is behind the violence.

“There’s a new wrinkle now that we didn’t have 10 years ago and it’s growing really fast, it’s the domestic drug market for use there for use in Tijuana, and it is booming,” Meade says. “Local drug markets are always more violent, local drug dealers are fighting for corners every day, it’s the nature of the business, they’re inherently unstable there’s a lot more street violence associated with that.”

Murder scenes like this on the streets of Tijuana have become common place in recent years. (Courtesy: Tijuana Municipal Police)

Meade says the violence is now strewn all over the city affecting residents in just about every neighborhood in Tijuana, although he does point out Americans are not the targets for kidnappings, robberies and other crimes like they were in years past.

“In terms of violence, we are not targets and have not really been targets for about a decade. On the other hand, we can’t just pretend there isn’t a crisis of violence in Tijuana because there is.”

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