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Dozens join Tijuana 'Mega March' for security as homicides reach record levels
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As Tijuana’s homicides have continued to rise, dozens of residents marched through city streets on Sunday—from students calling for safer neighborhoods to families seeking answers about their missing relatives.

“We are sad and fed up with everything that is happening in Tijuana, that you can’t walk around at peace,” said Fernanda de la Torre, a 24-year-old culinary arts student and one of the organizers of what was billed as a “Mega March for a Safe Tijuana”.

The event was staged by a group of friends in their 20s who said they had no ties to political groups. It has come as authorities have registered more than 1,500 homicides in Tijuana so far this year, putting the city on pace to break last year’s record of more than 1,700 killings. July’s tally of 251 homicides reported by the Baja California Attorney General’s Office made it the most violent month to date.

Participants in Sunday’s march, many dressed in white, called for peace and justice as they marched down Agua Caliente Boulevard, cleared of traffic by a police escort. The group ended up in the city’s Río Zone at a traffic circle that surrounds a giant statue of the Aztec emperor Cuauhtémoc—a popular gathering spot both for protests and celebrations.

While 4,500 people had expressed interest in joining the “Mega March” on the event’s Facebook page, the group never grew to more than 100 participants.

“Truly, I think that people are apathetic,” said Lizeth Vera, a 42-year-old physician who participated with her husband and two sons, ages 11 and 8. “They think that this will never happen to them, that they are immune to such a situation. They find a thousand excuses not to go out.”

De la Torre, one of the march’s leaders, said support for her idea spread quickly after she first brought it up on Facebook a couple of weeks ago. “This is a problem that affects all of us in Tijuana,” she said.”

She said the group plans to present a petition on Monday at City Hall. Their demands include better treatment of citizens at the hands of police, more public access to information about the police department and improved lighting in city neighborhoods.

The city’s high homicide numbers of recent years have largely been attributed by authorities to disputes involving the local drug trade, though they have not been the only victims. Last week, a 13-year-old boy was shot to death by an assailant who stole his cellphone.

But while city officials acknowledge the rise in homicides, they say figures show an overall drop in crime, with pointed declines in certain areas. According to statistics from the Tijuana Police Department, the first five months of the year show a 5 percent overall drop in crime compared with the same period last year. The statistics show particularly steep declines in residential burglaries at 36 percent; car theft and commercial burglaries at 18 percent; and robbery with violence at 16 percent.

Over a decade ago, anti-crime marches in Tijuana brought out thousands of residents. But unlike the previous events, Sunday’s march did not include the participation of the city’s leading civic groups and of the leading anti-crime organization, the Baja California Citizens Council for Public Safety.

The march may have suffered from not having a single galvanizing event to bring out the crowds. Two months ago, thousands participated in a march immediately following the disappearance of a 15-year-old girl, Diana Laura Piggeonountt Gómez, who was a student at the city’s elite public high school Preparatoria Federal Lázaro Cárdenas. She has not been found.

On Sunday, several families of missing persons joined the march, hoping to keep alive the search. Aide Aceves Montes said her 25-year-old son, Abraham Yunoe Chávez Aceves, had not been seen since April 24. 2016. He had gone to purchase medicine for one of his children on a Sunday morning and never returned.

“We have no information of any kind, neither good, nor bad,” she said.

http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news...story.html
Más vale pocos pelos, pero bien peinados.
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