TIJUANA (Border Report) — With the discovery of six bodies inside a van — five men and a woman — Tijuana has surpassed its murder total from last year and is getting closer to eclipsing the 2,000-murder mark for the year, according to Baja California’s Prosecutor’s office.

The vehicle, which had California license plates, was found in the parking lot of a strip mall that belongs to ex-Tijuana Mayor Carlos Bustamante Anchondo.

It’s the same parking lot where two other people were found shot to death on Dec. 1, though the two incidents do not appear to be related and investigators have not liked them.

Roberto Quijano Sosa, president of the Citizens Council for Public Safety in Baja California, says the high number of murders in cities such as Tijuana and Mexicali is the result of bad communication between law enforcement from all three levels of government.

“As long as there is no coordination, prevention and most of all the will to face this issue by police, we’ll keep seeing this type of crime,” Quijano said during a Monday news conference to address the ongoing violence in northern Baja California.

Quijano said the region was doing well early on in the year with a low total of murders, but as of June, the numbers and the bodies started piling up with 211 murders for that month.

Since then, an average of 185 to 195 murders per month have been reported.

In 2021, 1,973 homicides were committed, six fewer than the number already this year, which sits at 1,979.

With 11 days left in the year, Quijano predicted the city of Tijuana will easily get beyond 2,000 murders in 2022.