CJNG in Tijuana
Yesterday afternoon a man entered Sam's Club in Zona Rio, Tijuana, yelling frantically he was going to be kidnapped, asking customers and employees to call the Mexican Army, moments later he was arrested by members of Los Pepos, (State Preventative Police), who have been responsible for some arrests of mid level enforcers lately.
Reports indicate the man was loudly asking why he was being detained, and claiming armed men were after him. It took 7 minutes to handcuff him and lead him out of the business. He was identified as a member of CJNG, his name, status, or charges were not released.
Today, Los Pepos in a press conference announced the seizure of 51.5 kilos of cocaine, which occurred yesterday afternoon. The cocaine was allegedly in the possession of a 24 year old man, Ivan Ernesto Cazares Chacon, intercepted by Los Pepos in a Dodge charger.
The car contained a hidden compartment which contained the kilos, wrapped in black, ready for import to the United State. The value is around 24,000 per in Tijuana, so the value is around 1 million.
CJNG has slowly allegedly made their way into Tijuana, though evidence has been slight, supporting this. A member or sub contractor who supplied weapons was detained in recent months, and banners hung by Los Grosero's allege the partnership with CJNG, and now this recent seizure. Besides that, there is little evidence that they are operating in the city. Speculation lingers that CJNG may have been responsible for the tunnel and 1100 kilo cocaine seizure in San Diego, but that has not been substantiated, and the available evidence points more to Sinaloa operations.
Several groups in Tijuana have said to have worked out agreements with CJNG groups, from Manuel Lopez Nunez, Don Balas, affiliated with Arellano Felix remnants, Alfonso Lira Soto, El Atlante, former Sinaloa cell leader. The people of Los Aquiles are said to be antagonistic to CJNG, through their proxy war with Arturo Herrera, 'El Grosero', who is said to use young sicarios in their teens and early 20's to settle scores and intimidate rivals. Killers who have been arrested allege Herrera is prone to getting drunk and high, and ordering executions.
If Los PEP are taking CJNG shipments, that are supposed to be secured by the subgroups in Tijuana, under the CTNG banner, it means the State Police are not complicit with them, or not complicit at all. This is very much remniscent of the tit for tat war through proxies (The Federal Police in this instance) during the fall of 2009. Federal police working for Juan Sillas Rocha 'El Sillas' an unstable and vengeful soldier of Fernando Sanchez Arellano, stole 300 pounds of crystal from Los Teos near Rosarito. Teo reacted with brutality, killing Federal police, and shooting up a hotel where they were staying. A banner went up demanding the return of the product.
Teo's job, or role, what he owed for securing some of the Tijuana plaza for Sinaloa, was effectively to secure shipments through the San Ysidro border. This shipment belonged to La Familia, and it was a bad reflection of Teo's control that it was lost. Soon after, Teo was said to have let down his former backers and partners, and was arrested in La Paz.
This was a lifetime ago, seemingly, when crystal was closer to 10,000 per pound, and not nearly 90% cheaper as we see today on the streets of Tijuana, and San Diego. So, that was a valuable shipment that was lost. As was the one seized today. Was it really CJNG? Have they really come to Tijuana to stay, and immerse themselves in the fabric of the city, the way Sinaloa did 7 years ago? Buying up properties, stash houses, paying enforcers, arming cells of narco retailers, paying off many hungry mouths?
Sources: AFN Tijuana