A wave of armed robberies has swept across Tijuana in the past year, claiming the lives of six small-businesses owners and forcing many neighborhood shops to install security bars through which transactions with customers are conducted, according to the president of the Tijuana affiliate of the National Chamber of Commerce for Small Business.
In an interview published December 18 in El Sol de Tijuana, Heriberto Villalobos Rentería said at least 40 percent of the businesses that belong to his organization have decided to install security bars to protect themselves from marauding thieves.
While robberies occur across the city, the majority of shops that have installed protective barriers are located in Centro, Independencia, Castillo, Mariano Matamoros, Las Torres, Florido, Nido de las Águilas, Rubí, Morelos, Hidalgo, and Cañón Johnson.
“Frightened by this situation, merchants cannot stop operating because they need the profits to maintain their families,” he told the newspaper.
It costs these small businesses at least 1200 pesos (about $75) to have the bars installed, according to Villalobos Rentería.
In a separate interview published December 17 in La Jornada de Baja California, Villalobos Rentería said that at least 60 percent of the businesses affiliated with his organization have been robbed in the past year.
While the number of robberies has not decreased, he said, what has fallen are reports by merchants who have been victimized because of rude treatment by police investigators.