06/27/11 – The National Chamber of Industry of Transformation of Tijuana (Cámara Nacional de la Industria de la Transformación de Tijuana, Canacintra) along with various civic organizations signed a pact this Monday morning to reduce both drug-related violence and drug use in Tijuana, Baja California. The agreement is known as “Tijuana Letter: Tijuana, I want you free of violence” (Carta Tijuana: Tijuana, te quiero libre de violencia).
“Carta Tijuana” seeks to diminish cartel violence and drug abuse by emphasizing values and education while also hoping to trigger a reform on drug policy. The president of the Tijuana chapter of the National Chamber of Commerce (Cámara Nacional de Comercio de Tijuana, Canaco), Karim Chalita, who gave a speech at the signing, emphasized the need to “free” Tijuana from the drug-related violence that has taken a toll on innocent civilians. Chalita noted how an entire generation has been lost to the violence, making reference to both those killed in the drug war and to those “locked up in the prison of impunity and loss of hope, whose bars are fear and crime.” Drug use among youth, not just the violence that affects them, was also a major point behind the letter’s drafting. Tijuana Mayor Carlos Bustamante expressed his support for the pact, as he pronounced it to be a sign of the “willingness of citizens to protect their patrimony.” He assured that city government will take upon itself the same promise to reduce drug-related deaths.
Among those in attendance at the signing were Mayor Bustamante, Chalita of Canaco, local businessmen, artists, members of academic institutions, and religious leaders.