Operation Tijuana or Operation Baja California ( Spanish: Operativo Tijuana or Operación Baja California) of the Government of Mexico is taking place in Tijuana and the surrounding areas of Baja California and Baja California Sur. This operation is part of the Joint Operation Against Drug Trafficking.
The operation was launched on January 2, 2007, with the deployment of 3,296 officers of the Secretaries of Defense, Navy, Public Security and the department of the Attorney General of Mexico. The Secretariat of Defense sent 2,620 soldiers, 21 airplanes, 9 helicopters, 28 ships, 247 tactical vehicles and ten drug-sniffing dogs. The Navy sent a sea patrol, three interceptor patrols, one helicopter, two support vehicles and 162 marines. The Department of Public Security took the tasks of patrolling, intelligence and investigation as well as taking part in executing orders of arrests, searches and seizures. The Attorney General's Office (PGR) took the tasks of elaborating a map of priorities and provide the tools for information exchange in real-time to facilitate detentions. The PGR will also be present in the 48 local prosecution offices to seize property and take down drug-processing labs. In May 2007, the operations were extended to lesser crimes. The Federal Police, formed by the Federal Agency of Investigation, were to provide 510 officers to participate in tactical analysis, crime investigation, regional security and special operations.
The arrest of The "Cop Killer"Edit
On April 3, The leader of a band of kidnappers Víctor Magno Escobar Luna (a.k.a. "El Matapolicías", "Cop killer") was apprehended, he was thought to have had links with the state police for at least ten years. He is also thought to have been a member of the state police for a few years.
General Hospital shootoutEdit
On April 18, 2007, a band of criminals entered the General Hospital of Tijuana, took hostages and tried to free a mafia boss that was being treated in the hospital. The liberation was unsuccessful, the criminals exchanged fire with the local police and Army units and were later intercepted but not apprehended by the state and federal police. Three people were reported dead after the shooting and five people apprehended later.
On August 27, police officers found three headless bodies in a rubbish dump in Tijuana, killed by drug cartels.
Disarmament of local policeEdit
The federal forces took away the weapons of the local police officers giving an official explanation of doing a fingerprint-check on them. During this time crime increased 40% to 50% since police officers were left unarmed. Kidnappings decreased from six to two compared to 2006. Federal police officers have also been caught receiving bribes. Deaths by firearm dropped from only from 27 in January 2006 to 23 in January 2007. Local police departments also reported increases of 400% of crime between minors.
In May 2007, after the disappointment of the population, President Felipe Calderón asked the public to be patient and declared that it may not be in his administration when the results of these operations will be seen.
On 28 January, army personnel from the Army's 5th special forces battalion and 2nd Motorized Cavalry Regiment succeeded in the arrest of Alfredo Araujo Avila aka El Popeye in Tijuana. Alfredo Avila is known to be one of the most active assassins from the 1980s to the early 1990s of the Tijuana Cartel in the states of Sinaloa and Baja California.
On May 18, In the city of Playas de Rosarito, Baja California, the 28th Infantry Battalion received a tip that men were unloading packages from a boat to three vehicles, immediately the army were dispatched to the area. Upon arriving the Air Recon team confirmed the report. Realizing they've been caught the men dispersed the area but were apprehended, 11 suspects were arrested along with 2 tons of marijuana.
Eduardo Arellano FélixEdit
Note: (From April 16 to 30 State Preventive Police anti - drug operations are listed below)