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Tijuana, Part 4


It is unfortunate but Sr. Federico Benitez Lopez is not the only Tijuana Police Chief to quite spontaneously depart to immortality. Three other Tijuana police chiefs have been murdered: Arturo Ochoa Palacios, Isaac Sanchez Perez, and Alfredo de la Torre Márquez.

Then too, the former commander of the federal police force in Tijuana, is under investigation in the murder of State Prosecutor Hodin Armando Gutierrez Rico who was accidentally shot 150 times while standing in front of his house, and then tragically, and certainly accidentally, run over by a large truck.

Yes, and the former commander of the federal police, Rodolfo Garcia Gaxiola, has been under a cloud of suspicion for possibly having whacked Sr. Gutierrez because he was planning to arrest Sr. Gaxiola in connection with the murder of the Tijuana police chief, Jose Federico Benitez Lopez. It seems that the now very dead police chief had turned down a $100,000 bribe from the drug traffickers sometime just before he expired. All of this would make a good Daytime TV Soap but the cost of transfusions and caskets might make it too pricey to videotape.

Cali, Columbia, may be the world’s center of drug violence with an average of 1,000 dead per year, but Tijuana is doing its part to compete.

Tijuana can be an exciting tourist destination, with more than 40 dead right on city streets in one 30 day period: Mesa de Otay (16 dead), La Mesa (14 dead), and downtown Tijuana (11 dead).

American tourists visiting Tijuana do face a good chance of being in the middle of one of these events and really having something worth talking about back in Omaha. Collecting smoke stained bullet casings off the sidewalk of Avenida Revolucion might make a good show at coffee with the girls.

Not to worry. The city has installed scores of live video cameras to help save tourists those action packed moments for posterity.

Tourists should remain alert. There are several police stations in Tijuana and even one right at the San Ysidro Port of Entry (POE). Certainly, the one at the POE should be the most secure and the most carefully watched. But it was here at the POE police station that an American women was raped by Tijuana Police. The husband and his nine year old son were taken to an ATM kiosk to get money for the bribe while the wife was subjected to extreme “duress”.

While bad, it can get worse. Yes, you can wind up very dead in a police station.

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