Murder toll in Tijuana might drop just below 2,000 for first time in years

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Mexican Soldiers leave the scene of a crime where a man was killed by gun fire in downtown Tijuana, Baja California state, Mexico, on April 21, 2019. – Violence in Mexico, besieged by bloodthirsty drug cartels that also engage in fuel theft, extortion and kidnapping, reached a new record during the first quarter of 2019 with 8,493 murders, according to official figures released on the weekend of April 20-21. (Photo by Guillermo Arias / AFP) (Photo credit should read GUILLERMO ARIAS/AFP via Getty Images)

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TIJUANA (Border Report) — The former head investigator with the state of Baja California was gunned down early in the morning of Oct. 21.

Jorge Luis López Núñez was ambushed on a Tijuana street by assassins who were in three separate cars.

Two suspects have been arrested, but the others remain at large.

López Núñez’s death is one of the 1,860 murders the city of Tijuana had seen so far this year. It’s a high figure by most standards, but in this city just across the border from San Diego, the number is seen as a victory of sorts.

Politicians had said their goal was to keep the figure under 2,000 for the year. With nine days to go in the year, their hopes could be realized.

In 2020, Tijuana closed out the year with 2,000 murders; the year before it was 2,208.

Because of its high murder rate in the last two years, the city received the dubious honor of being labeled as “the most violent city in the world.”

Earlier this month, a family of five, including a woman from California and her three children, also U.S. citizens, were murdered inside their Tijuana home.

No motive or suspects have been made public.

Tijuana had the highest murder rate per capita than any other city registering 134 homicides per 100,000 residents, according to the Citizens Council for Public Safety and Criminal Justice in Mexico.

By comparison, San Diego, a city of roughly the same size as Tijuana, reported 115 murders in 2020 and 85 in 2019, according to a San Diego Association of Governments Report issued 7 months ago.

Recently, Tijuana’s new mayor Montserrat Caballero Ramírez, whose administration took office on Oct. 1, said one of her top priorities is to lower the crime rate in Tijuana including the number of murders.

“These are regrettable incidents,” she said two weeks ago. “I hope our plan works, keep in mind our goal is to keep working hard to implement our security plan, let’s hope it works.”

And according to the Tijuana-based, Zeta, a weekly newspaper, 70 percent of the murders in the city are committed with guns registered in the United States.

View of weapons seized by Mexican Security Forces before being destroyed at the Morelos II Military Region headquarters in Tijuana, northwestern Mexico on March 5, 2018. According to several reports made between 2009 and 2014, including a United States congressional report, about 70% of firearms seized in Mexico can be traced to the United States.(GUILLERMO ARIAS/AFP via Getty Images)

Four months ago, the Mexican government filed a lawsuit against U.S. gun manufacturers stating that since 2019, more than 17,000 murders were linked to weapons that came from north of the border.

According to court documents, the Mexican government is accusing American gun makers of not only knowing their products are being sent to Mexico, but are facilitating it.

The companies named in the suit include Beretta U.S.A. Corp, Smith & Wesson, Colt’s Manufacturing, Glock Inc., Interstate Arms and Sturm, Ruger & Co.

Beretta has said the Mexican government has no way of tying their sales to the crimes described in the suit.

It also stated the court in Massachusetts, where the lawsuit was filed, does not have jurisdiction since the company is based in Maryland and the crimes described in the lawsuit took place in Mexico.

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