Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

Glimpses from Tijuana

Thursday, June 23, 2011 |

Glimpses from Tijuana



In comparison to the brazen and public violence in cities like Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Juarez, and the lengthy, raging gun battles in Tamaulipas, the violence in Tijuana passes almost calmly through the city, occurring, and then disappearing as if it never took place. The Union Tribune, the local San Diego paper, across from Tijuana, rarely picks up the stories of the slayings across the line, only a hanging body or massacre will draw much attention from the paper. That is not to entirely blame the Union Tribune, as these murders are often low key, and uneventful, to those not immediately involved in their aftermath, and investigation. To an outsider, one unfamiliar with the drug trade and politics of the city, even those who are these killings have become increasingly difficult to connect, and analyze, and so they go unnoticed, even as bodies are burned, and heads found in duffle bags turn up on the sidewalk, often with attached messages, which the authorities have been refusing to disclose for months now, for unknown reasons.

Do the press or police not want to assist the narcos in their campaigns of terror and intimidation? Is it too keep things discreet, and not attract negative attention to the city? Every once in a while one will sneak through, for unknown reasons, and it feels like we have been given a piece of a puzzle, with many still missing. A loose strand that we are unable to connect to much of anything else, and that brings up more questions then it answers.

On June 10 a body was found near Rosarito Beach, with signs of torture, and bearing a sign which read Por andar chapulineando atte.Los Tigres, which loosely translated means 'For standing with/walking with grasshoppers' Grasshoppers, is a a narco term meaning, essentially a traitor, someone who switches sides in organized crime. The questions begin here, who are Los Tigres? This is the first banner bearing their signature, or is it simply the first published? It is likely they are the people of Jose 'El Tigre' Soto, the 'last man standing' out of El Tomate, and El Guicho, all former operators of detained boss Teodoro 'El Teo' Simnetnal. Are they fighting for the Rosarito Beach territory, which formerly belonged to El Guicho? Are they aligned with Sinaloa? I can only offer threads of educated guesswork in this article, as to who they are, and who they are fighting.

One day later in the La Presa and Loma Dorado neighborhood two men are executed moments apart, and we are informed they were members of the cell belonging to El Guicho. Again, fleeting and brief information, that we are unable to piece together. A power struggle in the aftermath of Guicho's arrest? Another group trying to finish off the cell? Earlier this week, a suitcase containing bagged body parts was found, authorities believe it may belong to the head found a week or so earlier.

The violence in Tijuana seems to flare up at a moments notice, and things escalate from dead bodies, to dismembered limbs in the street, to public hangings, then just as soon as they start, they vanish, and nothing more is heard, maybe an arrest or two is made, and then it's back to the usual. But, still the questions remains, who is fighting in the city? Who, if anyone controls the plaza? Who, if anyone is ordering these deaths, or are they result of low level infighting? Where is CAF? Who is 'El Achilles' whose name has drifted into conversation and corridos on both sides of the border? Today, three men were found strangled, and shot in the Sanchez Taboada neighborhood, there was a narco message found at the scene, which was left unpublished. We are left with scraps to try and connect the pieces as the violence quietly goes on Tijuana.


Sources: AFN Tijuana, Zeta Magazine, Frontera,

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18 Borderland Beat Comments:

Anonymous said...

Is it too keep things discreet, and not attract negative attention to the city?

An amatuer mistake. Come on BB. You're ( not YOUR or UR) better than that!

J said...

I just typed that earlier, it's not a professional article, just something I came up with. Relax, point out the mistakes and I'll fix them.

Anonymous said...

what a fuckin' asshole. Chill out this isnt the New York Times asshole. This is a few guys that want to keep the rest of the world informed of the things going on in mexico. So the next time you want to critique an article on here, take a knife and stab yourself in the fuckin eye first.

Anonymous said...

where is CAF? thats a good quetion. my guess is they are noticing sinaloas large presence there and are seeking allies, like the beltran leyva, who know alot about the sinaloa cartel, and how they operate.also the VCF,or juarez cartel and probably even zetas.chapo has a pretty strong cartel but if those other four gain up on them chapos done,since the real big player of the sinaloa cartel el azul,will go neutral,do to the beltran leyvas.

hasta la madre said...

Eh
I don't really see why the general public would be interested in these acts of violence. People care about high profile killings, having a story behind the events, making it a sort of real-life crime novella. If these elements are missing, the press doesn't see the need to make a big deal out of these crimes.
Why should I care about the fact that a corpse with signs of torture was found in Blvd. 2000? In Tijuana the citizenry is used to this happening all the time. As long as we can go on with our lives without fearing for our safety and our families, people don't care who's doing the killing.

Also, fix up the article J, it's not that well written. You've confused "to" with "too", "than" with "then", "is" with "are".
It's just a a friendly critique from one poster to another ;)

Anonymous said...

This is a VERY well written article and I enjoyed reading it, thanks "J" for taking the time to share your time and thoughts. There is always going to be those "spell checkers" in the thread, they mean no harm... I have a niece living in T.J. and I worry about her constantly. If you learn anymore about that goings on there please continue to post, thank you... Have a great SAFE week end...

Chivo

Anonymous said...

@hasta la madre,

Who cares what you care about? You sound like an asshole and probably are way worse in person...

Anonymous said...

AND GRASSHOPPER MEANS MORE LIKE LOCUST,

COMING AND SELLING FOR YOURSELF, NOT ALIGNED WITH ANYONE,

ITS LIKE IF YOUR ON MY BLOCK, POSTED UP, GETTING IT HOT, BUT YOUR NOT ON MY TEAM, THEN YOUR A LOCUST IN MY "PLAZA"

SO DON'T BE PUSHING ON SOMEONE ELSE'S TERRITORY, THAT'S WHAT I GATHER FROM MOST MESSAGES LEFT WITH THAT WORD WRITTEN ON IT.

AND ITS GREAT THAT YOU WANT TO PUT YOUR POINT OF YOU OUT THERE, BUT YOU ARE MAKING ALOT OF SIMPLE MISTAKES, AND IF YOU WANT TO BE TAKING MORE SERIOUSLY THEN YOU'LL TRY AND DO BETTER WHEN WRITING AN ARTICLE..
BUT THANK YOU FOR YOUR EFFORT ANYWAYS! KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK, AND CHECK OUT MY ALL CAPS FULL OF RUN-ONS!


dbgh

Layla2 said...

Good article--and professional.

Anonymous said...

CAF is still very much active and controls most of Tijuana. Its leader Fernando Sanches Arellano (El Ingeniero) is more sophisticated and low key then his uncles. He uses his brain to get things done and to not bring heat towards him. And its showing results. He's been recovering areas of influence that the Sinaloa cartel had in control in the city. El Aquilles andEl Tigre are the last people standing for the Sinaloa Cartel but their people have beee slowly taken out by CAF. This cartel has gone underground to loose a lot of heat.. its like a sleeping giant just waiting to wake up...

Anonymous said...

Yes chapulín literally means grasshopper but I thought it was a reference to el chapo like when they call CDS chaputos.

hasta la madre said...

"Yes chapulín literally means grasshopper but I thought it was a reference to el chapo like when they call CDS chaputos."

LOL no

Chapulines are individuals that move from one side to the other, they are "hopping" between organizations.


"CAF is still very much active and controls most of Tijuana. Its leader Fernando Sanches Arellano (El Ingeniero) is more sophisticated and low key then his uncles. He uses his brain to get things done and to not bring heat towards him. And its showing results. He's been recovering areas of influence that the Sinaloa cartel had in control in the city. El Aquilles andEl Tigre are the last people standing for the Sinaloa Cartel but their people have beee slowly taken out by CAF. This cartel has gone underground to loose a lot of heat.. its like a sleeping giant just waiting to wake up..."

I'm guessing you like most people that post on BB, have been following the effects of drug violence just recently. Things didn't calm down in TJ because Inge is more "sophisticated" or "low key". Things calmed down because there is no real fight between two organizations of comparable strength and reach. The way things have been in the last few months, that's how things worked for the most part during the 80s and 90s. You had a public execution here, a public levanton there, and a shit load of encobijados all over the place. A few high profile shootouts, executions of public officials every few years, sometimes a couple of times a year, but it didn't get much worse.

No doubt whoever is controlling Tijuana at the moment (and let's be honest, not even those on the inside have a clear idea of what's going on)is doing a good job at keeping all violence quiet. That's how things should run, they run their business, do a few kidnappings here and there, but they should keep the violence among themselves.

Anonymous said...

CAF CONTROLS THE AREA..CDS PAYS CAF SO THEY CAN WORK


http://www.blogdelnarco.com/2011/06/video-ejecutados-por-el-cartel-de-los.html#more

J said...

There is definitely some/many small errors, and I have been writing run on sentences since a child, so thanks, I'll fix it up a little. I wrote that in like ten minutes, just wanted to get it out there, quickly. As for who cares, I do. The narco politics in Tijuana are interesting to me, and I hope we will learn more soon, one way or another.

It seems there is an agreement, in the city, but then why the fighting? I don't know how strong El Inge is, or ever was, he seems to have a problem keeping people close to him, as many have left, at least as the reports have indicated.

Anonymous said...

chapulin is used in mexico that refers to drug dealers small time operators that sell drugs that are not purchased through their organization

Anonymous said...

CAF still controls a great deal of the city. Since they caught el Teo they have learned from their mistakes makin everything public. Business runs smoother without anyone knowing your business.

Anonymous said...

CAF and el chapo guzman cane to an agreement and chapo guzman pays el inge to use that border tRaffick drugs, and the fighting occurs because with the agreement comes and imaginary line that should not be crossed. El inge doesbt know that little by little the viruz is coming its already in san diego. El inge does t even know that mexicali is territory of mayo zambadas son. If CAF doesnt do something soon, chapo guzman will take over like he is taking over juarez,jalisco,sonora.

J said...

I think the fighting is between cells that disagree over territory, or whatever the reason, and the bosses don't have enough influence to prevent it from happening, ever, but enough to keep it from escalating. Notice it never gets TOO out of hand, like in 2008/2009. I think Inge is sitting on his hands somewhere, and cashed out when the chance was good. LOL at little does he know, I'm sure he knew exactly what he was doing when he made that deal, he had to. This is HIS life after all, and we are simply observers and critics.

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