Popular sticker seen on many SUV´s windows in Tijuana.
In the past 2 weeks Tijuana has experienced a rise in drug related murders, almost all the executions have been carried out with handguns and many in broad daylight. The victims range from addicts who couldn´t pay their debts to dealers, to a nephew of Ismael "El Mayo" Zambada. Are this signs of a new war coming to Tijuana? Nobody knows for sure, Tijuana´s police chief, Alberto Capella Ibarra claims that the recent murders don´t mean Tijuana is an unsafe city, average people still feel safe and the nigh life is as good as it was years ago. Even Miguel Angel Guerrero, state´s Sub-Attorney General against Organized Crime said people shouldn´t be worried, in his own words: “They are not killing honorable people”. Anyway, this should be a sign of alarm in a city that hasn´t completely recovered from the bad image created by the last big cartel war.
Alberto Capella, Tijuana´s Police Chief.
The following are just some of the crimes committed in the last 2 weeks in Tijuana:
April 03: US citizen Jose Alejandro Medina Ortiz, 20, was executed in the Obrera neighborhood, he was driving his vehicle in company of a 15 year old girl when a man walked towards them and shoot him several times in the neck and head. The minor said that she believe the hit man was after her father, since he had a police record in the US for drug trafficking, hoewever, the state´s Attorney General Office announced they captured a man by the name of Jose Ivan Jimenez Mendez aka”El Chulo”, a former police agent from the city of Oaxaca, Oaxaca. Jimenez Mendez admitted working for a man known as “El Atlante”, who is believed to control some of the drug retail in the area known as “Zona Norte”. Authorities said Medina Ortiz was killed because he owed drug money to “El Atlante”.
Jose Ivan Jimenez Mendez aka "El Chulo"
April 03: Christian Adrian Ubaldo Aguayo Castro, 31, was found dead in the Simon Malverde Street of the Del Monte neighborhood. Aguayo Castro´s body had several signs of torture and his corpse was tied with flexicuffs, he also had a rope tied around the neck.
Christian Adrian Ubaldo Aguayo´s corpse found by Tijuana Police.
April 04: The bodies of two men were found wrapped inside blankets, they haven´t been identified yet, but authorities believe they were between 25-30 years old, authorities also suspect they were recently deported because they had tattoos in the arms belonging to US gangs. Both corpses showed signs of torture and one of them had a seat belt around the neck.
April 06: A man identified only as “El Chango”(The Monkey), 25, was executed in the Rubi neighborhood, his body was found in the driver seat of a Jeep Cherokee, when the police officers arrived, they found a cell phone in the victim´s hand with a message from someone known as “El Puma” in which “El Chango” was told to be there so he could be paid some drug money. “El Chango” was shot four times, two in the head and two in the neck. His attackers fled in a Trooper SUV which was later found abandoned in a sea food restaurant.
April 06: A young man was shot to death in the Libertad neighborhood. The young man was walking when a stranger walked toward him and shot him at point blank.
April 06: Two men were executed in the Jardines del Rubi neighborhood, a group of armed men arrived at their apartment and shot them twice in the head. One of the victims was a US citizen identified as Joseph Flores the other victim was Jose Luna Garcia, nephew of Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada. Luna Garcia´s body was buried in Culiacan, Sinaloa.
April 07: In the first minutes of the day, Daniel Diaz Garcia, 30, was shot to death when he was celebrating his wedding engagement in his in-law´s house. When the attacker shot Diaz Garcia, an active police agent who was a guest in the party tried to stop the attacker but was also shot in one leg. The attacker fled and the family of Diaz Garcia asked the state´s Attorney General Office to stop the investigation.
April 09: A woman´s torso and leg were found in an abandoned lot in the Guaycura neighborhood, police agents found some clothes near the body parts. No further info was given by authorities.
Forensic personel recovering a woman´s torso and leg in Tijuana.
April 11: Defense Attorney Roberto Santiago Navarro Vazquez, 45, was shot several times. Navarro Vazquez was known for his work as defense Attorney for Benjamin Arellano Felix and several members of the Tijuana Cartel. The morning he was killed a man caught up with him in a Buick Le Sabre and shot him 5 times in the head and neck. The state´s Attorney General Office´s main line of investigation involves Navarro Vazquez recently working for members of the Sinaloa Cartel.
Benjamin Arellano´s former defense attorney gunned down in Tijuana.
April 11: 2745 lbs. of marijuana were seized and three men were arrested in two different operations conducted by the Tijuana police. Javier Estrada Ramos and Jose Manuel Cruz Jimenez were aboard a VW Jetta parked inside a store in the Villa del Real neighborhood, when police agents approached the vehicle, they saw a package in the backseat, when they searched the vehicle the agents notices it was marijuana, five more packages were found in the trunk. Estrada Ramos and Cruz Jimenez drove the agents to a safe house in the Segovia street were they found Victor Campos Solorio, Campos Solorio was In possession of an AK-47 and tried to leave the scene in a Chevy Pick Up. Inside the house the agents found several more packages giving a total of 2745 lbs.
"Logo" used by some Tijuana Cartel members.
April 12: A corpse was found at the base of the Hill known as “Cerro Colorado”, the body had 3 gunshot wounds. Police found 3 casings of 7.62 x 39 mm. the same used in AK-47´s
April 12: Another corpse was found in an abandoned lot located in the Tecolote neighborhood, the corpse was tied with ropes and showed a gunshot wound in the head.
Corpse found in the Tecolote neighborhood in Tijuana.
April 12: Luis Abarca Villanueva was executed outside his house when he was ready to leave. According to witness recounts, the three attackers were awaiting for him outside his house, they were travelling aboard a Ford Windstar and shot Abarca Villanueva several times, when police agents arrived, Abarca Villanueva was still alive but he died before the ambulance could arrive.
Luis Abarca Villanuevas´s crime scene.
April 13: Two men were shot in the Tijuana River Canal, Onesimo Gomez Sanchez was killed and Fernando Miranda Franco wounded when a group of six heavily tattooed men arrived at the Canal and confronted them. The leader of the group took out a gun and shot both men, then the six men escaped towards the Viva Tijuana Mall. Police agents started a search and arrested three men with similar description to the attackers. The investigators believe the two victims were drug retailers.
April 13: Miguel Olmedo Camacho, 24, was killed in his hot dog stand located in the Infonavit Capistrano neighborhood, just past the street from the local police station. When police agents arrived, a woman was found taking pictures of Omeldo´s corpse, when interrogated, the woman admitted to knowing the victim and the murderer, who she identified only as “El Davis”. Two teenagers arrived at the scene and told the agents someone had just thrown a handgun in a vacant lot a few blocks from there. The gun was a .380 Pietro Beretta, that handgun was just like the one “El Davis” was carrying in a picture found inside the woman´s cell phone.
Hot dog stand were Miguel Olmedo was killed.
April 13: A man´s corpse was found wrapped in a blanket thrown in a road leading to the “Corredor 2000” highway. The man, believed to be around 30 years old showed several signs of violence. Investigators believe he was beaten to death.
April 14: Another corpse was found early in the morning in the Pedregal de Santa Julia neighborhood; the body was tied with ropes and had a plastic bag around the head.
April 15: Jose Fernando Garcia Barba, 31, was murdered inside his house´s garage, at the scene, investigator found 2 9mm casings, 4 .40 casings and a .380 handgun. The execution took place in the Playas de Tijuana neighborhood. Police arrested Leonides Zurita Diaz, 24, who has a large criminal record in the United States, Fernando Rafael Balderas, Francisco Jijon Atanasio, Jorge Ivan Caro Robles, Juan Carlos Torres Rocha and Martin Ruiz Villafaña. Zurita Diaz admitted killing Garcia Barba under contract from his friend identified only as “Lil Downy”, “Lil Downy” wanted Garcia Barba dead because he stole a drug shipment from “Lil Downy” and got him arrested in the United States.
Zurita Diaz admitted killing seven people on the course of his life and told police agents that the gun used in Garcia Barba´s execution was bought for 1,800 dollars. Zurita Diaz and the other suspects admitted they were going to kill four more men they had “on their list” the same day they were arrested.
April 15: Two men were executed with shots to the head in a Taco´s stand. Alberto Maciel Pacheco and Luis Orlando Duran Naranjo were eating in the stand located at the entrance of the Los Alamos neighborhood when they were approached by –according to witnesses reports- a well-dressed man, the attacker spoke with them briefly and then shot them twice in the head.
The police report indicates the attacker fled from the scene in a Dodge Dakota pick-up which was later abandoned near the State Police headquarters. Intelligence agents arrested Raul Miranda Ordaz and Agne Ulises Tapia Navarro, the suspects recognized at some point working for the Arellano Felix but claimed to work nowadays for the “Mexicali Cartel” which is allied with the Sinaloa Cartel. Tapia Navarro offered 25 thousand dollars to the agents in exchange for his liberty, he claimed to be under death threats in the Tijuana prison because his “boss” is from Mexicali. According to their statement, they should have returned to Mexicali after the hit, but they got lost in the streets around the scene and were caught.
|Two men executed at a TJ taco stand|
April 16: Jose Pinson Rodriguez, 37, was killed outside his son´s elementary school. Pinson Rodriguez was driving a gray Audi and had just left his son inside the school when two men approached him and started shooting, the attackers fled in a Dodge Caravan minivan which was abandoned in the parking lot of the COBACH high school. At the scene, investigators found several 9mm and .45 casings.
Jose Pinson was shot to death outside his son´s elementary school.
April 16: At about 12:45 pm, an unknown man was killed at a farmers' market located in the Miraflores neighborhood, police reports indicate that a suspect has been arrested but no details were given. The victim was shot several times with a handgun.
|Man shot down in the middle of the farmers market|
April 16: A man was abducted outside his home in the Lomas Campestre residential zone when he was trying to park his vehicle, the victim was approached by men riding in a black Nissan and a beige Chrysler. State investigation agents are already working on the case and should provide more info in the following hours.
|Police agents arrive at the scene of an abduction in Lomas Campestre, Tijuana|
In writing this article the following sources were used: AFN, Frontera, Sintesisty, Uniradio Informa, Proceso, OEM,