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on the border line between the US and Mexico

Saturday, November 18, 2023

Baja California Sur: Organized Crime Stalks Families

"Sol Prendido" for Borderland Beat

New threats emerge in La Paz following the appearance of 10 narco messages in mid-October.

Beyond governance, we have done our best, to the best of our ability. And only in this way, going through the territory, we have achieved a balance and greater well-being for the inhabitants. Párale a la violencia (Stop the Violence) is a program that has already given results to seek to live in harmony and allow us to face the scourge of insecurity", said Víctor Manuel Castro Cosío, governor of Baja California Sur, in the regional security meeting "Mar de Cortés".

While the state government officials boast that the state was ranked by the National Survey of Victimization and Perception of Public Safety (ENVIPE) 2023 as the safest state, with 33.4 percent of insecurity perception at national level, crime is not decreasing.

On November 2, according to La Paz Municipal Police records, two La Paz families were victims of members of organized crime who left two wreaths and a narco message at their home. The first one was left on Andador Navío, between Balandra and Catamarán in the Arcos del Sol neighborhood; a second "message" was placed on the streets of Villa Natalia and ampliación Francisco J. Mújica, in the Villas del Encanto neighborhood. 

The discovery took place simultaneously at 9:20 pm. In the first event the officers interviewed Alejandro Bañales Reyes, 20 years old, who told them that "moments before he had left his house and realized that under the light meter there was a wreath with a threat, which said José Antonio Bañales you don't know where you are going, get off your ass, value your life and that of your family, wife and children, you will not get second chances [sic]", indicated the Municipal Police agent.

The police officers confirmed that instead of calling the security forces and having them analyze all the contents, the young man took the wreath and the message, destroyed them and placed them in a black bag, without further ado, Alejandro took the contents and walked to the garage, where he deposited it in the trash can.

According to the victim, with reference to why the message was left, he said that he does not know "the motives, since it was addressed to his brother, who lives in the Villas del Encanto neighborhood, and at the same time the same threat had been left" outside his house.

Car thieves were intercepted in the community of San Antonio, where they shot at police officers, one of whom was injured.

From 10 narco messages that were hung throughout Baja California Sur in the early hours of October 18, the wreaths and narco messages are the next threatening signs of organized crime against the citizens of Baja California Sur.

According to state authorities, these events are being investigated with crucial evidence such as images from video surveillance cameras located at the points where the narco messages were hung.

"Regarding the banners found yesterday, a total of 10 were located in different municipalities of the state; this is being done in coordination with the Municipal Police, with the federal authorities, to maintain a reinforcement with police presence and forces in the state, it was instructed in the security table in order to keep us safe. We do not believe that the banners will have an impact on the security levels in the state," said Luis Alfredo Cancino Vicente, Secretary of State Public Security.

Even so, Victor Castro assures that the three levels of government continue working so that "we can continue living in Baja California Sur with peace and tranquility".


Justo Cesar Meza Acevedo, 64 years old and originally from La Paz, spent the five longest days of his life, his disappearance on October 30 between 5 and 5:40 in the afternoon in the Perlas del Golfo neighborhood of the state capital, where an armed criminal cell abducted him and held him captive.

However, Daniel de la Rosa Anaya, Attorney General of the State, assured: "In terms of national crime incidence, we are in sixth place in terms of incidence or recurrence at a national level".

Justo Cesar was kidnapped on Monday, October 30, while he was walking along the avenues of the Perlas del Golfo neighborhood; at the time of his disappearance he was wearing a beige/brown checkered shirt, blue jeans, brown work boots and a black cap.

It was not until the evening of November 2, at 6:36 p.m. that Justo Cesar was found lying in the street handcuffed and naked, with multiple injuries on his face and body; he was severely injured, but alive on the streets of Playa Ensenada de Muerto between Ematita and Playa Balandra in the La Pitahaya neighborhood. The investigation was established through investigation folder LPZ/7776/2023/NUC.

"We had in sight a male person, who was lying down in a white Ford Ranger vehicle, covered with a white and red striped button-down shirt around his waist, with bruises on his face and abdomen," said the officers in their police report.

The family who located him, found him very beaten, who they identified as an elderly man, they said, who was naked and beaten; and he immediately asked for help from the family, they gave him a glass of water and lent him a shirt to cover himself. In spite of these facts, and that many cases are not taken into account (and much less publicized), the governor said that they will not hide any information.

"We are not going to lie to anyone, nor hide the data; it is painful that they continue, but we are fighting this practice as best we can," said Victor Castro.

In view of the increasing number of missing persons and the multiple threats received by the search collectives, they regretted that the minimum offered by the current state executive is not being fulfilled. They said that it has been two years of Castro's government and the results leave much to be desired; they even said that they gave him the opportunity to act for two years to continue with the demonstrations, but they have not obtained favorable results.

"Victor Castro, please, we elected you as governor. I walked streets so that you would be my governor and defend me; we’re looking bad here, we look bad with this change because we don’t see results. We gave you two years of trust, two years where nothing changed for the better; we wanted to believe and trust in this new government, however, that just wasn’t the case", reproached the mothers of the Search Collectives after more reports of people who were taken from their homes surfaced. 


At midday on Wednesday, November 1, there was an intense police mobilization on the roads in the southern area of the municipality of La Paz. Security units from the city and ranches went to follow two suspicious vehicles that were seen passing through the community of Los Barriles, 108 kilometers from the capital.

The units received a report of a blue 1998 Honda CRV and a white 2010 Toyota Corolla, the first vehicle reported stolen and the second reported as being driven by armed persons. A police pursuit immediately ensued.

"They were seen by the town of Los Barriles. A 2010 Toyota Corolla was the lead vehicle. Municipal agents followed them from a distance. The perpetrators were driving a blue Honda CRV with a theft report. Police officers were already waiting for them near the San Antonio neighborhood and the junction to Los Planes with support from the Agency (AEIC) to stop them and secure the vehicle", assured the agent of the State Public Security Bureau.

The security agents had one of the vehicles in sight near the community of San Antonio and initiated a pursuit, turning towards the junction that goes to the community of San Juan de Los Planes, where the pursuit continued.

In this regard, in the police report and the data collected, there is no coincidence as to why the agents shot at the vehicle; in the initial report, the security elements reported that the people showed weapons and tried to shoot at the officers, who repelled the aggression.

Testimony of the inhabitants was that they were shooting at each car during the trip to Los Planes. It was near the town of Tescalama where one of the occupants received a gunshot in the neck, forcing them to stop the pursuit, two people were arrested. Police only provided the name of the injured person identified as Mario Alberto Castillo Lucero.

The unit and the detainees were taken to the Public Prosecutor's Office. Following the altercation it is expected that the individuals responsible for the shooting confrontation in the community will be announced. 

"There is a gang of car thieves in La Paz, they are directly targeting Honda CRV vehicles, they are specifically targeting these 97, 98 and 2001 model trucks, especially those used for parts; we also have in the search list some related body shops and junkyards, where they allegedly steal the cars to sell them in parts", indicated the source from the State Agency of Criminal Investigation of the State Attorney General's Office.

There has been a 27% increase in car thefts in BCS during the month of September

With 56 stolen cars, September is the month with the most cases of this crime so far in 2023 and all of 2022; while during the first eight months of the year an average of 44.6 cars were stolen per month, in September the actual increase in auto theft was 27.27 percent.

The State’s Crime Stoplight placed the state in the red zone for the crime of car theft, along with drug dealing, injuries, rape, domestic violence and femicide.  

In Baja California Sur during the first nine months an average of 46 cars were stolen per month, that is, more than one and a half cars are stolen per day, according to records officially presented by the Executive Secretariat of the National Public Security System.

La Paz, Baja California Sur

Los Barriles, Baja Californian Sur

San Juan de los Planes
Baja California Sur


  1. La chapiza anda fuerte en toda la area de los cabos .. en el mango deck pura bolsita con la ch en el baño el que traiga diferente jale levantada alv y los municipales no dicen nada a los de la tiendita

  2. Who's in charge of Baja? Or is it divided?


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