Photo: Firefighters work at the scene of a burnt collective-transport vehicle after it was set on fire by unidentified individuals in Tijuana, Baja California, on August 12, 2022. / Source: Guillermo Aris/AFP via Getty Images.
Last week, widespread arsons, hijackings, and shootings prompted the government to deploy federal and national guard troops across Mexico. Mexico’s Security Cabinet reported 260 people died during the four days that armed gangs shot civilians, conducted “narco blockades,” and set fire to shops, buses, and cars. The violence was most prevalent in Jalisco, Chihuahua, Guanajuato, and Baja California. Public officials, such as Tijuana Mayor Montserrat Caballero, urged drug cartels to stop the violence. While “narco blockades” are common in states like Guerrero and Michoacán, last week’s violence represents the first time the cartels have widely employed such tactics in a major border city like Tijuana. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador suggested Monday that the attacks were part of a political conspiracy against him by opponents that he described as “conservatives” and argued that “there is no big problem” with security.
On Tuesday, authorities in the border city of San Luis Rio Colorado discovered the body of independent journalist Juan Arjón López, making him the latest in 14 killings of Mexican media workers and reporters so far this year. López had been reported missing since August 9, and according to his autopsy, he died from “head trauma due to a blunt blow,” the state Public Ministry said in a statement. Authorities are investigating whether López’s death is tied to his profession. Earlier this month, a journalist was among four people killed inside a beer shop in Guanajuato.