López Obrador listens as Defence Secretary Sandoval discusses advances in Tijuana. López Obrador listens as Defence Secretary Sandoval discusses advances in Tijuana.

Tijuana security strategy has reduced homicides by 21% since February 4

The operation has deployed a joint force of more than 5,000 personnel

A security strategy launched last month in Tijuana has made significant progress, President López Obrador told a press conference in the Baja California city this morning.

Appearing with Defense Secretary Luis Crescencio Sandoval, the president cited a decline in murders in the border city following the implementation of the new strategy on February 4.

“An agreement was made with the state’s governor to confront this situation and launch a special operation, together with the army, the navy and federal, state and local police to face the emergency, which has seen significant results. [There has been] a considerable decline in the most important indicator: homicides.”

Sandoval said the operation deployed a joint force of 5,114 personnel to combat and contain violence, detaining 150 suspects and confiscating 21 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine, 529 kilograms of marijuana, 38 kilograms of fentanyl, eight kilograms of cocaine, 45 illegal firearms and 36 vehicles.

Security forces also freed 15 people who were being held against their will.

The uniforms of the new National Guard.
The uniforms of the new National Guard.

The defence chief said that prior to launching the new strategy Tijuana was recording an average of 5.2 homicides a day. That figure is down 21%, he said.

He added that operations have been accompanied by a corresponding increase in police reports by residents and an uptick in the local economy and the number of tourists.

Sandoval also used the press conference to introduce the uniforms to be worn by the National Guard, the new security force that is the centerpiece of the new government’s security strategy.

He said that officers of the force will begin wearing the uniforms within a month and a half when 21,000 army and navy personnel begin three months of basic training followed by five months of specialized training in public security.

In eight months’ time, Sandoval said, they will be ready to go to work.

López Obrador told the conference that the head of the National Guard will be named in the next 10 days.

Source: Milenio (sp), Grupo Fórmula (sp)

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