As the cartel imposed curfew expired this morning at 3:00AM along the northern Baja California side of the border, tension began to ease in the early morning hours in several border cities where thousands of local, state and federal police in coordination with the Mexican military had been patrolling the streets of the cities and towns of the northern region to stem the surge in violence from late last week.
In spite of reports of additional arrests last night and early this morning in Tijuana and Mexicali where subjects were caught attempting to setup blockades as well as vandalizing and setting fires to vehicles, state and local authorities are reporting that they are now in full control of the situation and are advising for residents to go about their normal business and for visitors to feel at ease to come down and enjoy the activities and events here in Baja California without fear.
The large and very visible police presence remains actively patrolling today in much of the region but should begin to be scaled down in the days ahead as sources have shared with us that authorities are still evaluating the threat that was made and any potential for a new outbreak in violence.
US Consulate: Shelter in Place Order Rescinded
Earlier this morning, the U.S. Consulate in Tijuana released a statement rescinding the order for their personnel to “shelter in place” as well as its recommendation to do so for U.S. citizens in the region.
The statement read:
Location: Tijuana, Rosarito, Ensenada, Tecate, and Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico
Event: The U.S. Consulate General in Tijuana continues to closely monitor the security situation in Tijuana, Rosarito, Ensenada, Tecate, and Mexicali. The August 12 instructions to U.S. government personnel to shelter in place are no longer in effect.
U.S. citizens are reminded to reconsider travel to Baja California due to crime and kidnapping. See here for full text of our Mexico Travel Advisory.
Actions to Take:
- Be aware of your surroundings
- Follow instructions of local authorities
- Notify friends and family of your safety
- Monitor local media for updates and in case of emergency, call 911
Was the Threat Real?
Many are asking that question this morning and the local and state authorities aren’t saying much, fueling speculation among long time residents south of the border of a possible deal made with the Cartel Nueva Generacion de Jalisco; details of which would probably not be released to the public.
But the fact that so many long time residents of the northern Baja border region perceived the threat as real lead to a large percentage of them choosing to stay at home and lock their doors, as well as many stores, grocery market chains and business establishments in the region.
That perception appears to have been shared by the authorities as well who – in spite of repeated public denials – rolled out a police and military response unseen since the days of the Arrellano Feliz Cartels and their well publicized shootouts on the streets of Tijuana from 15 years ago.
Several local residents we spoke with this morning expressed having little faith in the local authorities to inform them of what was really going on in recent days with many of them believing the cartel related violence and damage caused over the weekend to be much worse than what was publicly released.
Scanning through several social media pages of Baja’s border communities we found several posts from locals sharing photos and stories of cartel violence including shootings and assassinations that have yet to be reported in the press here.
As always, we will continue to keep our followers up to date with the latest information.