Julieta Martínez / corresponsal | El Universal
Six suspects were detained by the Mexican Army in Tijuana recently in two separate operations that resulted in the seizure of 658.62 kilograms of “crystal meth”, 75 kilograms of cocaine, 3.62 million pesos and almost 290 thousand U.S. dollars. The value of the drugs seized was estimated by the Army at approximately 16 million U.S. dollars
Speaking on this latest drug seizure in Tijuana, the commander of the Second Military Region (Baja California, Mexicali), Alfonso Duarte Mujica, explained that according to initial investigations, the six detained individuals operated independently since the criminal groups in Baja California belonging to the Arellano Felix and Sinaloa cartels have been greatly reduced.
Duarte stressed that criminal groups recently arrested in his sector mostly operate independently and try to transport their drugs thru Tijuana because it is one of the busiest and most important regions on the border.
He attributed the violence that has occurred in recent weeks with criminal attempts by cells to maintain their "narcotiendas" (locations where illegal drugs are sold locally) in a free for all enviornment.
Duarte also stated that the increased seizures of cocaine and crystal are the results of greater efficiency in the actions of civil and military authorities. As a result of the financial losses criminals can no longer buy weapons, co-opt security officials or set up safe houses.
General Duarte is known as a particularly aggressive Army officer and last year shared with Julian Leyzaloa (who was Tjijuana’s municipal chief of police at the time) “Man of the Year” honors bestowed by the influential Baja California news weekly Zeta magazine.
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