Feb 27, 2012

Mexico Economy: In revived Tijuana, a new calm delights - and mystifies

Kansas City Star: "TIJUANA, Mexico — This border city, once as violent as any in Mexico's drug-fueled trafficking wars, appears to have shaken off narco-related mayhem, allowing an explosion of new music halls, art galleries and world-class restaurants.

Tijuana's 1.6 million residents are grateful for the calm, which allows them once again to dine out at night, visit nightclubs and generally exist without fear of the sudden, random violence that had become so much a part of Mexican life.

But behind the relative peace is a nagging question: Why did it occur? Residents admit that they don't know.

"It's not very clear what happened," said Luis Ituarte, an artist and promoter. "It's just not as bad as it used to be."

Security officials credit better policing and the arrival of army patrols. Activists say that emboldened citizens began ratting out gangsters.

But some experts cite a more sinister reason. They say the calm is because Mexico's most powerful crime group has seized control of Tijuana's key drug-trafficking corridor and now enforces the peace. Rival drug gangs that used to gun down one another simply are working together now." read more

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