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TJ officials say killing spree linked to arrest of Arellano-Felix

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Aired 4/19/09

Law enforcement officials and crime watchers in Tijuana say the arrest of suspected drug cartel leader Francisco Javier Arellano-Felix has caused an unprecedented spate of violence in Tijuana. KPBS Reporter Amy Isackson has details.

The killing spree has claimed more than 15 lives in Tijuana during the last week. Tuesday, police discovered six bodies dumped around the city. Last week, armed men burst into a busy taco shop and murdered three people, including one police officer and a U.S. citizen.

The brutal incidents have not been officially linked to the arrest of Javier Arellano Felix who's awaiting trial in San Diego.

However, Victor Clark who studies crime in Tijuana attributes the violence to the battle to control drug trafficking in the area.

Clark says the Arellano cartel may be cleaning house - killing off snitches, and settling old scores. And he says they may be fighting off interlopers. Clark says the cartels from outside the area may also be contributing to the bloodshed. Amy Isackson, KPBS News.

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