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Police Politics Muddle Tijuana Kidnapping Story

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Aired 4/19/09

There is a new twist in the case of a man who sought refuge in San Diego after escaping from kidnappers in Tijuana. The twist highlights a rift between state and local police forces in the city. KPBS reporter Amy Isackson has details.

Earlier this week, Tijuana police said a man who escaped from his kidnappers told them he was a construction executive.

Police said the victim was held for 10 days, and his captors were seeking a million-dollar ransom.

The man told police he'd feel safer in San Diego and asked the local police to escort him to the border.

However, state police in Tijuana refute the local force's version.

State officials say the man has ties to drug traffickers in San Diego.

Victor Clark heads a Binational Human Rights group in Tijuana.

He says the kidnap case is the latest flare-up in the ongoing rivalry between Tijuana's city and state police.

He says in the last two years, politics have heated up the conflict. Different parties govern the state and city. Clark says that means police infighting distracts from fighting crime.

Amy Isackson, KPBS News.

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