Organized crime terrorizes neighbors of Playas de Tijuana to smuggle migrants into the US

This situation has occurred several times at Terrazas de Mendoza

Neighbors of Colonia Terrazas de Mendoza in Playas de Tijuana are living with fear after irregular immigrant crossings into the US have become increasingly more common in their neighborhood. On some occasions, these happen with support from organized crime, which has unleashed an uncertain situation in the area.

Threats to residents, security guards, and even shootouts are constant, as migrants and smugglers jump over perimeter fences to use the avenues, abandoned houses, houses under construction, and alleys in the area to cross the 6-meter wall with ladders into the United States. This amazes the area's inhabitants who are already organizing preventive measures to avoid being victims of crime.

Regarding this insecurity issues, the head of the representation office of the National Institute of Migration (INM) of Baja California, David Pérez Tejada Padilla, said:

We will need to put an almost end to safeguard neighbors' lives. We know that they have already had enough of what's going on, people are worried, they are being terrorized. We have friends and family who live in the area and they want authority.

He highlighted that the INM cannot assume complete responsibility, as they are at the mercy of armed people who can cross at any time trying to smuggle migrants.

Currently, INM agents are asking for bulletproof vests for their safety and they explained that they are not carrying out any operation without support from the Mexican Army or the National Guard.

We have to be more careful, we have to make changes, adjustments, we need to not be alone. To be honest, we don't really have permits to carry guns and people have to be more careful while being accompanied by municipal police, the army, the navy, the National Guard, or PEP, any agency that could be with us whenever an operation happens.

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We called the General Headquarters of the 2nd Military Zone where they explained that neither INM nor any other municipal or state authority has asked them for their support regarding this issue. They claim that they will be available to address any report and make rounds in areas where it is required.

On the other hand, in early 2024, 30 migrants were rescued at Terrazas de Mendoza after being abandoned by people who were helping them to cross illegally into the United States. People from Asia and Latin America were among this group, who were then sent to a safe area to provide them with medical assistance and legal guidance.

It should be noted that among the areas of Tijuana that have greater illegal crossing activity there are Zona Norte, Nido de las Águilas in Otay, and Terrazas de Mendoza. In Tecate, these exist at a spot in the toll-highway and Ejido Jacumé.

It is estimated that around 600 to 800 migrants cross daily illegally to the United States. These migrants come from Asia, Africa, Mexico, and Central America, according to the head of INM in Baja California, David Pérez Tejada Padilla.

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