After last week’s intense violence in Baja California, a florist in Tijuana had a message for the city: peace, and she spread it with flowers.
The owner of María Se Llama Mi Amor attached floral bouquets to utility poles across the city last Saturday in response to a wave of organized crime violence that engulfed the city and the country last week. They were the kind of bouquets one might buy for a loved one or purchase for a centerpiece of a dinner party but these were wrapped in brown paper bearing the words peace and paz.
On Friday of last week and into Saturday morning gangs of criminals took to the streets of Tijuana, Mexicali, Rosarito Beach, Tecate, and Ensenada to light vehicles on fire, force passengers off public transportation and generally sow terror in the local population. Authorities said the violence was the result of a supposed conflict between two criminal groups, Los Chapos and Los Mexicles. The resident population was told to get off the streets and shelter in place, and Saturday morning found the streets of Tijuana abandoned except for the soldiers patrolling.
The owner of the Tijuana flower shop decided that if she wasn’t going to sell any of her pre-made bouquets in the aftermath of such violence she could put them to better use as an inspiration for the city’s residents. She posted images to Instagram on Saturday of the bouquets around the city saying, “There are more of us who are good than bad,” calling on fellow residents to do something kind and try to make the world a better place.
There were reports of other good deeds as well. Some people offered transportation to help others get to work given that public transportation had been halted, and others opened their homes to people who couldn’t return to their own.
Authorities said 17 members of Los Mexicles were in custody after the intense gang battle, in which 11 people were killed in the region.