The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes
Wednesday, June 23, 2004
Postcard from Tijuana
First entered the British communal psyche as the handle of Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass. How many of those who bought the records could actually find the place on a map?
Then, thanks to TV, it vaguely penetrated the consciousness as a place of otherness to which SoCal teens might resort for humbling, ennobling or otherwise arc-worthy experiences.
Coming right up to date: Tijuana  is a little piece of Colombia transported to Uncle Sam's doorstep. Kingpin Arellano Felix has long been under lock and key: only a few weeks ago, CNN were reporting the arrests of two guys, Jorge Aureliano Felix and Efrain Perez Pazuengo -
ranked as among the most-wanted suspects both in Mexico and the United Statessuch that
One U.S. official declared the cartel to be "in ruins," and another predicted an "historic impact."
Can you say WMD?
The latest (LA Times today):
Francisco J. Ortiz Franco, a founding editor of the Zeta newsweeklywas murdered in front of his children; it seems that
Zeta has published numerous exposes over the years on the Arellano Felix drug syndicate, as well as the protection given to it by government officials and police.
This is the cartel that a wisely anonymous US official declared...to be in ruins. He is clearly from the same school as the morons who thought the American invaders would be welcomed by the Iraqis as liberators. If the Arellano Felix is done for, he fails to account for the
spiraling violence as rival Baja California drug cartels vie for control of the narcotics trade in [Tijuana].
Free enterprise: dontcha love it?
Zeta, happily, is online; it carries a piece under the hed Acribillan a jefe ministerial from Ortiz's co-editor Jesus Blancornelas on the assassination of a comandante de policía who formerly rejoiced in the name Sidarta Alfredo Walkinshaw Salazar. A pregnant girl was also hit in the head and, the piece says,
se encuentra delicada.
(The baby was successfully removed by section, apparently.)
There is also a piece, Bribonadas, venganzas, mezcolanza de política y smás en el Congreso , on Baja California state politics. Total ignorance of personnel and events hamper comment - but one does get the impression of lunatics in charge of the asylum. Lunatics capable of hiring assassins? Who knows?
Whilst, under the most favourable conditions, one might not expect a peripheral Mexican state to rival Switzerland as an epitome of sober and competent government, the US War on Drugs is clearly throws kerosene on the mayhem.
(Not to say Uncle Sam's effect on the place is altogether detrimental: a third piece is headed 18 mil vacantes solamente en maquiladoras de Tijuana)
Perhaps Baja California might catch my eye again at some stage - as always, getting up to speed with the cast and back-story is the barrier to entry.
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