TIJUANA (Border Report) — Ten bodies were discovered in a shallow grave on the outskirts of Tijuana this week, sending the number of homicides over the 2,000-homicide mark for the year.
Just days earlier, six people were found dead inside a parked van at a Tijuana strip mall.
The total for 2022 now stands at 2,004 and is climbing, according to the state’s attorney general.
“The entire city is permeated by violence,” said Juan Manuel Hernandez, ex-president of Tijuana’s Citizens Council for Public Safety. “Everyone in Tijuana and Baja California has lost the capacity to be surprised or shocked by the violence and bloodshed.”
Hernandez said the most difficult byproduct of the ongoing violence is the public’s perception of law enforcement and government.
“We know authorities aren’t present,” he said. “Unfortunately, there is no respect or trust in the people who are supposed to protect us.”.
This is not the first time Tijuana reaches 2,000 homicides for the year. 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.
Tijuana is a city of about 2.2 million people.
“The figures put out by the government have been whitewashed,” said Raul Cornejo, who works for the We’re All Erik Carrillo Foundation, a missing persons’ organization in Tijuana.
Cornejo believes the number of actual homicides is well beyond 2,000 not counting the hundreds of people, like his brother, who are missing and presumed dead.
“And not all the victims were involved in drugs or crime like officials say, including the president,” Cornejo said.
Since the start of the year, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has sent thousands of National Guard troops to Tijuana and the state of Baja California to fight crime.
But the added security forces have not been able to curtail the violence.
During a news conference this week, Tijuana Mayor Montserrat Caballero lamented the violence and asked for more help.
“We need more police officers, we need an army that is active, that’s very important for me, an army that is vigilant, we’re grateful the troops are here, but we need them to be more proactive,” said Montserrat.