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Tijuana Elects New Mayor

Your browser does not support this object. View the original here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=et_W2e9wjqM

Video published July 9, 2010 | Download MP4 | View transcript

Above: Voters in Tijuana elected a new mayor last weekend. We speak to KPBS Border Reporter Amy Isackson about what kind of impact Carlos Bustamante might have on the San Diego-Tijuana border region.

Transcript

THERE WAS BIG CHANGE ON THE MEXICAN POLITICAL FRONTS THIS WEEK. CANDIDATES WON IN ALL FIVE OF THE MAYORAL ELECTIONS. AMY IS HERE TO TELL US WHAT THOSE RESULTS COULD MEAN FOR TIJUANA AND SAN DIEGO. AMY, WELCOME.

THANK YOU.

SO I WANT TO KNOW, HOW IS IT THAT THE INSTITUTIONAL, REVOLUTIONARY PARTY'S CANDIDATE WAS ABLE TO WIN THE MAYORAL ELECTION WHEN THE CANDIDATES WON IN SIX OF THE PAST SEVEN ELECTIONS.

THAT'S REALLY THE BIG QUESTION THAT EVERYONE IS ASKING, THE MAYOR OF TIJUANA IS ASKING IT. HE'S FROM THE PAN PARTY, THE GOVERNOR OF TIJUANA IS ASKING IT. EVEN THE PRE IS ASKING IT. EVEN THE MIDDLE CLASS IN TIJUANA AND BAJA, CALIFORNIA, THEY TOOK ALL THE MAYOR SEATS IN BAJA, CALIFORNIA WHICH IS UNPRECEDENTED. HE'S SAYING THAT THEY HAVE TO, THE MIDDLE CLASS MAYBE WAS UPSET AND THEY HAVE TO REALLY LOOK AT WHY. THE MAYOR OF TIJUANA IS SAYING THAT PERHAPS SOME OF THE DECISIONS HE MADE WERE NOT UNPOPULAR, LIKE CLOSING BARS EARLY, NEVER A POPULAR DECISION AND THAT HE HAS TO LOOK AT WHY AS WELL, BUT I THINK WHAT WE DID SEE, THROUGHOUT BAJA, CALIFORNIA IS THAT CANDIDATES, PEOPLE WERE SICK OF PAN PARTY, THE INCUMBENT PAN PARTY AND SICK OF THEIR CANDIDATES. THEY FELT LIKE CARLOS TORRES WAS IMPOSED BY THE PRESIDENT OF MEXICO, THE TWO HAVE STRONG TIES. THEY USE THEIR VOTE TO SHOW THEY'RE SICK OF IT.

WHICH LEADS ME TO THE SECOND QUESTION. ARE THESE RESULTS, REPUDIATION THAT PRESIDENT CALDERON'S HANDLING OF THE DRUG WAR, ESPECIALLY GIVEN THE FACT THAT HE'S FROM THE PAN PARTY AND THIS HAPPENED IN TIJUANA, EVEN THOUGH IT HAPPENED ELSEWHERE IN BAJA, CALIFORNIA, THERE'S BEEN DRAMATIC VIOLENCE, DRUG VIOLENCE IN RECENT YEARS.

I DON'T THINK IT WAS A REPUDIATION OF CALDERON'S DRUG WAR SO MUCH IN TIJUANA, I THINK THAT INFLUENCED THE VOTE WHERE THERE WERE ELECTIONS IN OTHER PARTS OF MEXICO, BUT THAT KIND OF HIGH IMPACT VIOLENCE HAS DROPPED OFF. WE'RE NOT SEEING SO MANY SHOOTOUTS IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STREET, IN THE LAST, SINCE THE BEGINNING OF THE YEAR, WE'RE NOT SEEING SO MANY POLICE MEN GUNNED DOWN IN THE PUBLIC'S VIEW. I THINK THAT PUBLIC SAFETY CERTAINLY WAS AN ISSUE IN THIS, BUT I THINK THE ECONOMY LOOMED LARGE AS WELL. >> TELL ME ABOUT CARLOS BOOSTMONTY.

HE'S LIVED HIS LIFE IN TIJUANA. HE'S A WEALTHY TIJUANA BUSINESSMAN. HE HAS THE KNOWLEDGE TO TURN TIJUANA AROUND. TO USE HIS BUSINESS KNOWLEDGE TO CREATE JOBS. ALSO HE HAS A BI-NATIONAL VISION BY THE FACT THAT HE WAS BORN IN SAN DIEGO AND HE STILL MAINTAINS A HOUSE IN SAN DIEGO. HE WANTS TO STRENGTHEN TIES WITH SAN DIEGO IN ORDER TO HELP TIJUANA RECOVER.

YOU DID SAY THAT DRUG VIOLENCE HAS SORT OF DEESCALATED IN RECENT MONTHS. CAN CARLOS BOOSTMONTY HAVE AN AFFECT ? WHAT KIND OF EFFECT WILL HIS PRESENCE HAVE?

THAT'S ANOTHER BIG QUESTION. DRUG VIOLENCE IN TIJUANA, DRUG VIOLENCE AND ORGANIZED CRIME IS A FEDERAL ISSUE. THAT SAID, EVERYONE IS LOOKING TO BOOSTMONTY TO SEE WHO HE PICKS OF HIS CHIEF OF SECURITY IN TIJUANA. THAT PERSON LEADS THE MUNICIPAL POLICE. HAVING A STRONG MUNICIPAL POLICE IN TIJUANA IS A SAFEGUARD AGAINST DRUG CARTEL VIOLENCE. THERE'S BEEN SO MUCH CORRUPTION, OFFICERS ACTUALLY WORKING FOR DRUG CARTELS. THE CURRENT POLICE CHIEF HAS GONE AFTER CORRUPTION WITHIN THE FORCE. HE'S BEEN A STRONG LEADER AND SO, PEOPLE ARE LOOKING TO BOOSTMONTY TO SAY, IS HE GOING TO PICK SOMEONE ELSE? WILL THAT PERSON BE ABLE TO MAINTAIN CONTROL OF THE MUNICIPAL POLICE? WILL THAT PERSON PLAY WELL WITH THE ARMY AND STATE POLICE? THEREFORE, WILL THAT CONTINUITY OF SOMETHING HAVING GONE RIGHT IN TIJUANA IN TERMS OF PUBLIC SECURITY, WILL THAT CONTINUE?

LET'S TALK ABOUT TIJUANA'S ECONOMY, TIJUANA HAS EXPERIENCE IN THE ECONOMIC DOWNTURN, WHAT CAN CARLOS DO TO TURN IT AROUND?

JOBS, JOBS, JOBS. UNEMPLOYMENT IS AT A HISTORIC LEVEL, HE SAYS HE'LL USE HIS BUSINESS KNOWLEDGE TO TURN THINGS AROUND. HE WANTS TO PROMOTE TIJUANA INTERNATIONALLY AND HE ALSO WANTS TO CREATE TIES WITH THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY IN SAN DIEGO AND ALSO IMPROVE BORDER CROSSINGS. >> OKAY, FINAL QUESTION. WHAT DOES BOOSTMONTY'S WIN MEAN FOR SAN DIEGO IF ANYTHING?

A STRONGER INTERNATIONAL VISION IN TERMS OF HIS RELATIONSHIP WITH THE MAYOR. HE WANTS TO EXPAND THAT, NOT ONLY IN SAN DIEGO, BUT BEYOND TO OTHER PARTS OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA AND IT ALSO MEANS THAT SOMEONE WHO'S FOCUSED ON THE ECONOMY OF TIJUANA, TIJUANA'S ECONOMIC IMPROVEMENT IS GOOD FOR SAN DIEGO AS WELL.

AMY ISAACSON, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THAT REPORT.

THANK YOU.

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