Operation Baja California
|Operation Baja California|
|Part of Mexican Drug War|
|Commanders and leaders|
Andrés Manuel López Obrador |
Enrique Peña Nieto
Guillermo Galván Galván
Salvador Cienfuegos Zepeda
Luis Cresencio Sandoval
Mariano Francisco Saynez Mendoza
Vidal Francisco Soberón Sanz
José Rafael Ojeda Durán
Eugenio Elorduy Walther
José Guadalupe Osuna Millán
Francisco Vega de Lamadrid
Jaime Bonilla Valdez
Narciso Agúndez Montaño
Marcos Covarrubias Villaseñor
Carlos Mendoza Davis
|Luis Fernando Sánchez Arellano (POW)|
Operation Tijuana or Operation Baja California ( Spanish: Operativo Tijuana or Operación Baja California) of the Government of Mexico is taking place in Tijuana and the surrounding areas of Baja California and Baja California Sur. This operation is part of the Joint Operation Against Drug Trafficking.
The operation was launched on January 2, 2007, with the deployment of 3,296 officers of the Secretaries of Defense, Navy, Public Security and the department of the Attorney General of Mexico. The Secretariat of Defense sent 2,620 soldiers, 21 airplanes, 9 helicopters, 28 ships, 247 tactical vehicles and ten drug-sniffing dogs. The Navy sent a sea patrol, three interceptor patrols, one helicopter, two support vehicles and 162 marines. The Department of Public Security took the tasks of patrolling, intelligence and investigation as well as taking part in executing orders of arrests, searches and seizures. The Attorney General's Office (PGR) took the tasks of elaborating a map of priorities and provide the tools for information exchange in real-time to facilitate detentions. The PGR will also be present in the 48 local prosecution offices to seize property and take down drug-processing labs. In May 2007, the operations were extended to lesser crimes. The Federal Police, formed by the Federal Agency of Investigation, were to provide 510 officers to participate in tactical analysis, crime investigation, regional security and special operations.
The arrest of The "Cop Killer"
On April 3, The leader of a band of kidnappers Víctor Magno Escobar Luna (a.k.a. "El Matapolicías", "Cop killer") was apprehended, he was thought to have had links with the state police for at least ten years. He is also thought to have been a member of the state police for a few years.
General Hospital shootout
On April 18, 2007, a band of criminals entered the General Hospital of Tijuana, took hostages and tried to free a mafia boss that was being treated in the hospital. The liberation was unsuccessful, the criminals exchanged fire with the local police and Army units and were later intercepted but not apprehended by the state and federal police. Three people were reported dead after the shooting and five people apprehended later.
On August 27, police officers found three headless bodies in a rubbish dump in Tijuana, killed by drug cartels.
Disarmament of local police
The federal forces took away the weapons of the local police officers giving an official explanation of doing a fingerprint-check on them. During this time crime increased 40% to 50% since police officers were left unarmed. Kidnappings decreased from six to two compared to 2006. Federal police officers have also been caught receiving bribes. Deaths by firearm dropped from only 27 in January 2006 to 23 in January 2007. Local police departments also reported increases of 400% of crime between minors.
In May 2007, after the disappointment of the population, President Felipe Calderón asked the public to be patient and declared that it may not be in his administration when the results of these operations will be seen.
On 28 January, army personnel from the Army's 5th special forces battalion and 2nd Motorized Cavalry Regiment succeeded in the arrest of Alfredo Araujo Avila a.k.a. El Popeye in Tijuana. Alfredo Avila is known to be one of the most active assassins from the 1980s to the early 1990s of the Tijuana Cartel in the states of Sinaloa and Baja California.
On May 18, In the city of Playas de Rosarito, Baja California, the 28th Infantry Battalion received a tip that men were unloading packages from a boat to three vehicles, immediately the army were dispatched to the area. Upon arriving the Air Recon team confirmed the report. Realizing they've been caught the men dispersed the area but were apprehended, 11 suspects were arrested along with 2 tons of marijuana.
Eduardo Arellano Félix
- January 12 - Federal Police forces captured Tijuana drug lord Teodoro García Simental a.k.a. "El Teo" in his home in La Paz, Baja California Sur. Later on that day he was transported to Mexico City.
- January 16 - Due to concerns of the increase of violence by the capture of El Teo, 1,000 military personnel both army and marines were sent to the most violent areas of Tijuana by the request of Baja California Governor José Guadalupe Osuna Millán.
Note: (From April 16 to 30 State Preventive Police anti - drug operations are listed below)
- April 16 - Mexicali, In the Colonias of Carranza and Naranjos, six people who belong to the Sinaloa Cartel are arrested. 125.8 kilos of cocaine, 17.6 kilos of "ICE", assault rifles, rifle magazines and 25 vehicles were seized.
- April 27 - Tijuana, In The Colonia of Lomas de la Presa four suspects were arrested who were in possession of 112 kilos of marijuana.
- April 28 - Tijuana, In the Colonias of Gas and Anexas, three people who are assumed members of the Tijuana Cartel and who were under the command of Luis Fernando Sánchez Arellano were arrested. 2 assault rifles, 124 rifle magazines, 700 grams of "crystal", and 490 grams of marijuana were seized.
- April 29 - In Mexicali in the Colonia of Alamitos, one known drug trafficker name Jorge Aaron Samanduras Hernandez, 24 years old was arrested in possession of $110,000, 9 pistols, and 297 pistol magazines.
- April 30 - Baja California's State Preventive Police (PEP) arrested 5 individual's that are link to the Sinaloa Cartel, after raiding a tire garage in Mexicali. Close to a ton of marijuana, 1 grenade launcher, 1 M2 Browning machine gun, various machine guns and rifle magazines were also seized during the operation.
- June 8 - Mexican army troops arrested two Arellano Felix cartel members in the municipality of Comondú. Inés Zamudio Beltrán & Obed Güereña Arvizu are assumed to be Tijuana Cartel lieutenants of that municipality. Ines Zamudio Beltran is said to have links to the family of the municipality's Mayor Joel Villegas Ibarra. He was freed a month later.
- November 7 - Mexican army troops arrested Juan Francisco Sillas Rocha, Sillas Rochas was considered as the lieutenant of Luis Fernando Sánchez Arellano.
- April 27 - Baja California's State Preventive Police (PEP) arrested Octavio Leal Hernandez (El Chapito) a close lieutenant of Luis Fernando Sánchez Arellano.
- July 3 - Mexican army troops arrested Julio Cesar Salas Quiñonez, Salas Quiñonez was considered as the lieutenant of Luis Fernando Sánchez Arellano.
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- La Familia Michoacana
- Gulf Cartel
- Illegal drug trade
- Juárez Cartel
- Mérida Initiative
- Mexican Drug War
- Sinaloa Cartel
- Tijuana Cartel
- Los Zetas
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