Tijuana businesses under siege

Robberies and related killings spur security-bar industry

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.

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Gee, and we are told, and told, and told . . . that everything is cool in TJ for touristas from the US. But six small business owners have been killed by "marauding thieves." Oh, and sixty percent of the businesses affiliated with the association have been robbed. Does any of that sound like a city that you would want to visit, or a city in even the third world? Comes across like Somalia (a country with no real government), or maybe Peru or Ecuador. If you reside in the US and have any grey matter between your ears, use that brain, think, and you will conclude that TJ is no place for a sane person to visit, for any reason at any time.

But it is a picture of the future of the US when there is no longer a middle class.

There isn't any tourism in Baja, hasn't been for over a decade now. Hence, no money coming in, hence, crime rate goes up. And I lived there for over two decades, so again, DON'T GO THERE IF YOU'RE AFRAID. I had less problems there than in San Diego or Los Angeles. Your mileage may vary.

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