From the border city of Tijuana to Cabo San Lucas, there is an increased presence of National Guard troops in the Mexican states of Baja California and Baja California Sur following an eruption of cartel violence over the weekend.
At least 350 National Guard troops were emergency deployed to the region on Saturday as cartels hijacked and burned vehicles and left the border city of Tijuana in utter chaos.
Late Friday night, the U.S. Consulate in Tijuana advised all American government employees to shelter in place until further notice due to escalating violence. At one point over the weekend, the busiest U.S. border crossing was blocked by torched vehicles.
Fox News noted the Jalisco New Generation Cartel threatened violence to anyone in Baja California over the weekend:
“Be warned. As of Friday at 10 p.m. through Sunday at 3 a.m. we’re going to create mass chaos so the [expletive] government frees our people. We’re the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, we don’t want to hurt good people but it’s best they don’t go outside, we’re going to attack anyone we see on the streets on these days.”
Tijuana Mayor Montserrat Caballero immediately responded to the cartel’s message and said:
“We are not going to allow a single Tijuana citizen to pay the consequences of those who didn’t pay their bills.
“We ask that you make the people who owe you pay up, not the families and citizens who work.”
The mayor said, “the problem is serious,” and about 3,000 federal troops attempted to keep the peace in the northern state. She added that no one was seriously injured as cartels tried to create as much chaos as possible.
The question remains if Baja California has returned to normal after a weekend of cartel violence or if it will persist through the week.