28 Police Patrol Trucks Set on Fire in Tijuana

According to El Universal, Twenty-eight trucks that would be used as municipal police patrols were set ablaze in the parking lot of a dealership by unidentified subjects at midnight on Monday. Public Security Secretary of Tijuana, Julián Leyzaola Pérez, confirmed the incident, but said municipal police dealt with the case as an act of vandalism. The incident was not seen as an attack on the police force because the units were not yet in their power.

“To me, they were not patrols. They were still at the agency and it was assumed that they were going to give them to me, but there were still not official numbers,” said the official. He acknowledged that the act could be a “message” from organized crime to the local police, but said that before making any speculation, he will await the outcome of the investigations to be conducted by the Attorney General of the State (PGJE).

Retired military lieutenant colonel, Leyzaola Pérez, explained that the report of the fire (which occurred in the courtyards of the Mazda agency in Santa Elena) was carried out like any other incident of this kind until they arrived to the site and noticed the features of the property. In the security guard’s first statement, it was reported that he was subjugated by several individuals who entered the site and then set the units on fire.

The Fire Management confirmed that a total of 28 pickup trucks were affected, of which six had total damage. No more evidence of vandalism was found at the site, other than a strong smell of gasoline, which could suggest that those responsible used cluster bombs. Thus far, there has not been information given of any arrested person, but the authorities continue the investigations in search of those who committed this act. In Tijuana, there have been several attacks by criminal gangs against the municipal police, including the murder of 47 officers and others wounded.

SOURCE:

Martínez, Julieta. “Ven vandalismo en quema de 28 patrullas.” El Universal, December 1, 2009.

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