SAN DIEGO (Border Report) — Through the first four months of the year, 603 homicides were recorded in Tijuana, including 161 in April alone, according to Baja California’s State Attorney General’s Office.

Of the people killed this year, 68 have been women.

Carlos Jaramillo Silva, president of Tijuana’s Business Council, says the high murder rate continues to generate a bad image for the city.

“This draws a lot of attention, it’s a crisis even though there’s a lot of work going on to lower the homicide rate,” he told the El Sol Newspaper in Tijuana.

Jaramillo is calling for a new strategy when it comes to fighting crime on the streets.

“We need to know what every police agency is doing, we can’t have all of them essentially doing the same thing,” he said.

He also said the high murder rate has yet to have a “big negative impact on attracting new business and investments to the city,” adding that he is concerned with the growing problem of extortion, when businesses are forced to pay cartels a tariff to stay in operation.

Tijuans had more than 2,000 homicides in 2022. According to figures published by the state prosecutor’s office, the city recorded 2,014 homicides in 2020. In 2019, a little more than 2,200 homicides were recorded in Tijuana, well short of the 2,499 in 2018. There were 1,969 homicides last year.