Wednesday, October 7, 2009
The U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, Carlos Pascual, visited Tijuana Wednesday. It was his first visit to the border city since he was confirmed last August.
The ambassador praised the progress he says government and law enforcement officials have made with regards to public safety in Tijuana.
Pascual says Tijuana is an example that should be copied and lessons learned here should be applied in other cities in Mexico.
"There's a massive reduction in violence. There's a great increase in the number of arrests of narco-traffickers. The police force itself, there are about 450 people who have been fired. And, increasingly what we see is that the people of Tijuana are taking back the streets," said Pascual.
Pascual's comments come as Tijuana police are under threat by drug groups. Criminals have recently killed random officers to try to intimidate the force and have advertised that the killings will continue.
Tijuana's murder rate has dropped to 434 so far this year compared to last year's record high of 844. But the body count for the first 10 months of this year is higher than in 2006 and 2007.