THE MEX FACTOR: How to help reduce Baja’s crime rates

For many years – even decades – the state of Baja California has been the victim of violence mainly caused by clashes between criminal organizations. The massacres that have left thousands dead in street shootings or even in some ranches far from the cities have been the order of the day without any government being able to stop this bloodshed.

To this terrible situation we should add the cases of street terrorism that several cities simultaneously suffered not long ago. In addition, we should remember the cases of vehicle theft, businesses and people robberies and many other crimes that are committed and that, in most cases, despite being reported and the authorities have the evidence to bring suspects to justice, they go unpunished. Both non-profit organizations and specialized entities have pointed to the so-called black figures that represent crimes that remain in total impunity.

While at the national level the wave of violence has registered a significant increase after the so-called war against drug trafficking promoted during President Felipe Calderón administration at the beginning of the millennium, in Baja California it has been an issue that impacts the residents of the neighbor been long before.

There have been many people who have pointed out to this problem, including leaders of opposition political parties, members of organizations dedicated to the study of crime, and even international organizations have demanded the implementation of an adequate strategy to address crime at its root and give a breath of peace to the citizens.

However, the authorities of practically all the governments, both the current one and the previous ones, have been incapable of resolving the problem to bring peace once again to Baja California. And it is that outside of the negative image that the state experience, both inside and outside its boundaries, the administration continues to function without an issue, as well as other public agencies and even businesses.

Inclusively, tourism has recorded significant increases in recent years mainly thanks to foreign visitors from states such as California, Arizona and others located near the border. The uninterrupted flow of tourists allows companies dedicated to providing hotel, restaurant and other services related to this sector to continue operating without major problems, which in turn leads coffers to continue recording the income of significant funds through tax collection.

For this reason, it is important to highlight that it is precisely those of us who visit Baja California for leisure reasons who can somehow contribute to the reduction of the crime rate in the state. The problem is that tourists are used to renting hotel rooms or even apartments and entire residences during long weekends like the coming up Memorial Day.

The previous weekend three US citizens lost their lives at the hands of criminals during the shooting in the town of San Vicente located within the municipality of Ensenada in which a total of 10 people died and another nine were injured while participating in a journey off-road vehicles.

State authorities reported Wednesday the arrest of three people allegedly involved in the deadly attack. Those in charge of public security, who in the first instance must be the governor of the state in turn according to the constitution of Baja California, have expressed their apparent concern about the shootout, at the time of having launched a special operation to maintain tranquility in the Pacific Ocean port.

On many occasions, the Department of State has issued alerts to US citizens so that they take care of themselves in certain areas of Baja California, as well as in Mexico and around the world where there are problems that could affect their lives or their assets. If we as Americans stop crossing the border and spending our devalued dollars in businesses dedicated to the provision of tourist services, the authorities will surely act to address the crime issue due to the drop in revenue that we as tourists leave in Baja California.

Adelante Valle Editor Arturo Bojórquez can be reached at or (760) 335-4646.

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