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Another for the Tijuana morgue

Zona Norte drug haven racks up the deaths by violent means

He was dead by the time he reached the hospital.
  • He was dead by the time he reached the hospital.

The shrieking of bystanders followed gunfire in the Zona Norte section of Tijuana on Tuesday afternoon, May 12. An unidentified man lay writhing on the ground as onlookers awaited authorities to arrive on the scene. The police took only a few minutes to secure the area, and an ambulance arrived shortly thereafter.

The shooting occurred on Avenida Constitución between the east-west streets of Coahuila and Baja California, on the east side of the street and up on the sidewalk. By the time the victim was loaded into the ambulance he appeared to be lifeless, and Tijuana’s daily Frontera reported that on arrival at an undisclosed hospital he was indeed pronounced dead.

The newspaper also reported that a white Nissan Sentra was discovered a block away from the scene, abandoned, and that it is suspected by authorities to have been used in the crime.

The area in which the crime occurred is a haven for drug sellers and drug users, and turf wars are not uncommon in the region. Recently, on May 6, a man was murdered outside of a strip club called New York in Zona Norte, and two days later another man was found dead in the trunk of a vehicle with a note attached to his corpse with the message, "narcomensaje,” which loosely translated means, "drug trade message.”

Previous to that, the corpses of two men were found in a car underneath blankets with the same message attached on April 18; and on March 7, a man on a bicycle was shot and stabbed and left with the same calling card. These turf wars are largely thought to be local albeit deadly skirmishes related to selling illicit drugs on the street and unrelated to the cartel activity in other areas of Mexico.

The streets were relatively quiet in the aftermath, but deep into the morning there were still audible sellers: "Cuanto, cuanto, cuanto?" (“How much, how much, how much?”).

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