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Report: Tijuana Homicides Reach Record High In 2017

February 6, 2018 2:30 p.m.

Report: Tijuana Homicides Reach Record High In 2017

GUEST:

Jaime Arredondo, researcher, Justice in Mexico Project at the University of San Diego

Related Story: Report: Tijuana Homicides Reach Record High In 2017

Transcript:

This is a rush transcript created by a contractor for KPBS to improve accessibility for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Please refer to the media file as the formal record of this interview. Opinions expressed by guests during interviews reflect the guest’s individual views and do not necessarily represent those of KPBS staff, members or its sponsors.

>>> WE HEARD THE NEWS THIS WEEK THAT CRIME IN SAN DIEGO IS DOWN TO ITS LOWEST LEVEL. SOUTH OF THE BORDER A WAVE OF VIOLENCE IS HITTING THE POOR COMMUNITIES. MORE THAN 1700 HOMICIDES WERE REPORTED IN 2017. IN THE REPORT BY THE MEXICO PROJECT LOOKS AT THE RESEARCH INTO VIOLENT CRIME AND WHY IT'S HAPPENING AND WHAT NEEDS TO HAPPEN TO ADDRESS IT. JOINING US AND STUDIO, HYMIE.
>> 1700 HOMICIDES, THAT IS A LOT HOW DOES THAT COMPARE TO THE VIOLENCE WE SAW BACK IN 2008.
>> THAT'S A GOOD QUESTION. WE TRY TO PUT IT ON RATES. WHEN WE EXPERIENCE THAT 2008 AND 2010, THE HOMICIDE RATE WENT UP FROM 49 TO 80. THIS YEAR THE MOST VIOLENT SO FAR RECORDED IS ALMOST 100,000.
>> WHAT IS FUELING THE VIOLENCE ?
>> ON THE NATIONAL LEVEL THERE IS NEW CARTELS. THE CARTEL HAS ALSO PROVEN TO BE EXTREMELY VIOLENT AND IS TRYING TO GET INTO TERRITORIES THAT WERE CONTROLLED. I THINK RIGHT NOW SINCE THESE NEW ORGANIZATIONS ARE LESS [ INDISCERNIBLE ] THAN THEY USED TO BE THAT WE HAVE LOW CONTROL OF THE PEOPLE ON THE GROUND. YOU HAVE SEVERAL ORGANIZATIONS THAT ARE TRYING TO FIGHT FOR THE LOCAL MARKETS IN ADDITION FOR THE UNITED STATES.
>> THIS IS A NATIONAL PROBLEM FOR MEXICO. IS THE SOLUTION SOMETHING THAT DEPENDS ON MEXICO CITY OR IS THE MAYOR OF TIJUANA THE MAN WHO HAS TO DO WITH IT HERE.
>> TIJUANA IS AN EIGHT TOUGH SPOT. -- TIJUANA IS IN A HOT SPOT. THERE ARE CERTAIN THINGS THAT THE MUNICIPALLY CANNOT CONTROL. I ALWAYS SAY THAT THE TIJUANA IS A THERMOMETER. IF WE SEE NATIONAL SPIKE IN HOMICIDES THAT WILL SHOW UP IN TIJUANA AS WELL. THERE ARE CERTAIN THINGS THAT THE POLICE CAN DO BETTER ALSO, HOMICIDES ARE NOW IN THE LOW LEVEL SCARE -- SCALE.
>> APPARENTLY IT'S MOSTLY IN THE LOWER INCOME NEIGHBORHOODS THAT THIS IS HAPPENING NOT THE TOURIST AREAS, IS THAT RIGHT ?
>> EXACTLY. WE FOUND THREE AREAS OF HOMICIDES. ONE OF THEM IS TIJUANA. THEN WE HAVE DOWNTOWN TJ BUT THERE IS MORE FOR THE BORDER WALL. THERE'S ALSO THE RED LIGHT DISTRICT AND COMMUNITIES AROUND THERE.
>> IT SEEMS TO BE THRIVING AND DOES THE RESIDENTIAL CONSTRUCTION BOOM ? WHY DO YOU THINK THIS WAVE OF VIOLENCE ISN'T AFFECTING THOSE AREAS AND COULD IT SPREAD ?
>> I THINK WHAT WE ARE COMPARING THERE WERE MORE MASS SHOOTINGS IN THE STREETS AND MORE KIDNAPPINGS. I THINK THE VIOLENCE HAS CONCENTRATED THAT MIGHT BE IN CREATED IN THE DRUG TRADE. THIS HAS LED TO FOCUS ON CONCENTRATED POINTS OF VIOLENCE WHERE IT HASN'T TOUCHED THE TOURIST INDUSTRY. RIGHT NOW IT'S REALLY INTERESTING TO NOTICE THAT THE VIOLENCE IS DIFFERENT THAN TO THE 2008 AND 2010.
>> CAN THE VIOLENCE SPREAD ?
>> THAT'S A THEY HAVE TO TAKE CERTAIN ACTIONS. WE SET UP RECOMMENDATIONS IN OUR PAPER AND I THINK ONE OF THEM IS TARGETED AS A FORCE. KILLING POLICE OFFICERS GOT MASS SHOOTINGS ARE NOT --
>> IT'S NOT -- IS OF THAT HAPPENING ALREADY ?
>> NOT AS INTENSE.
>> HOW IS THE STOP AND FRISK MODEL WORKING ?
>> I THINK THERE IS RESPONSIBILITY WHEN THE PROBLEMS WITH THE DRUGS COME IN. WE ALSO HAVE GUNS COMING FROM THE UNITED STATES TO MEXICO. THERE IS A BELIEF BY THE STOP AND FRISK STRATEGY, IF YOU'RE GOING TO STOP PEOPLE YOU WILL FIND SOMETHING. THE PROBLEM WITH STOP AND FRISKING IS THAT POLICE OFFICERS ARE NOT GENERATING THE TRUST WITH THE CITIZENS. SOME RECENT -- 70% OF PEOPLE DON'T TRUST THE POLICE. I HAD AN INTERVIEW YESTERDAY IN COMMUNITY POLICING IS SOMETHING THAT NEEDS TO BE DRIVING POLICE EFFORTS ALL OVER THE WORLD. YOU NEED TO HAVE THE TRUST OF PEOPLE TO REPORT THE CRIMES INSTEAD OF BEING AFRAID.
>> WHAT ARE THE CHANCES THAT THE MAYOR OF TIJUANA WILL PAY ANY MIND TO YOUR REPORT ?
>> WE HOPE YOU WILL TAKE A LOOK INTO IT. SOME RECOMMENDATIONS I THINK ARE TRYING TO TRANSFORM THE STRUCTURAL FACTORS WITHIN THE CITY. SOME OF THE PROBLEMS ARE AT THE NATIONAL LEVEL THAT IS BEYOND CONTROL. THERE ARE OTHER THINGS THAT THEY CAN START. FOR EXAMPLE, WE KNOW THIS IS HAPPENING WHERE THERE IS A LOW-LEVEL OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT. IT'S IMPERATIVE TO MAKE SOCIAL INVESTMENT IN THESE AREAS TO RECONSTRUCT THE SOCIAL NETWORK.
>> YOU HAVE A CONFERENCE THIS FRIDAY WILL BE DISCUSSING ALL OF THESE ISSUES.
>> YES.