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Mexican border cities hit by burning vehicles, blockades

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By JORGE LEBRIJA

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Caballero issued a public appeal to “organized crime,” the term used in Mexico for drug cartels, to stop the growing trend of targeting innocent civilians.

Once the mayor is reduced to beg the gangs to do their crimes without involving innocent people there is little left before it completely becomes a failed state.

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Once the mayor is reduced to beg the gangs to do their crimes without involving innocent people there is little left before it completely becomes a failed state.

The TJ (Tijuana - literally "Aunt Jane") cops have been crooked basically forever. A patrol officer has to pay a bribe to their sargent to be issued a car or a gun, or at least that used to be the case. Getting out of a traffic ticket was as easy as handing the cop a $100 "gratuity". Problem was many cops pulled Americans over for no violation, just to take their money, and if you refused it was time for the "Pepsi Challenge". The cops would arrest you and during your interrogation they would shake a warm can of Pepsi and crack the pull tab right under your nose, sending rapidly expanding, bubbling, fizzing soda all the way up into your sinuses. Excruciating pain. Better to just grease the nice officers palm and be done with it.

I vividly recall while stationed in San Diego in the 1980s there was a big shootout between the Judicialies (state judicial police) and Federalies (Federal judicial police) in TJ. Yep, cops fighting cops with guns. Big shootout. But when video of the shootout was shown on the local San Diego TV news a lot of San Diegans noticed that the cops were driving cars with California plates, cars that had been stolen from San Diegans in the recent past. Naturally these people called police in California to report the fact. California Highway Patrol, CHP, sent some officers over the border under cover, easy to do because the Mexicans never check anybody going south over the border, to have a look at the vehicles in the parking lots of Mexican police stations. They found lots of cars stolen from the US. This created an international incident nobody wanted and the TJ cops had to return all the cars stolen from the US, though I don't think anyone ever went to jail over those thefts.

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