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Tijuana's mayor receives death threats

 June 26, 2023 at 5:00 AM PDT

Good Morning, I’m Debbie Cruz….it’s Monday, June 26th.

Tijuana's mayor has received multiple death threats. More on that next. But first... let’s do the headlines….


The city of Imperial Beach has instituted a 45-day moratorium on licenses to sell guns… giving itself time to come up with regulations for those sales.

The issue came up because the city got a business license application from a woman who wants to open a women’s sporting goods store… and she wants to be able to sell guns.

Here’s I-B mayor Paloma Aguirre.

“What we were asking both the applicant, the community and gun rights advocates is to bear with us, to have a pause.”

In a statement, the group “San Diego County Gun Owners” said it looks forward to seeing the council create a clear and obtainable pathway for federally licensed dealers to serve the I-B community.


A coalition of labor and environmental groups has relaunched a campaign for a sales tax measure to fund transportation projects across the county.

The “Let's Go San Diego” initiative failed to gather enough signatures to make it on the 20-22 ballot.

So the group is trying again for November 20-24… a presidential year when turnout is typically higher and more progressive.

If approved, the measure would raise San Diego County's sales tax by a half cent to fund infrastructure projects, such as road repair, public transit, carpool lanes, sidewalks, bike lanes and a rail connection to the airport.


The last week of the county fair kicks off on Wednesday.

So as the theme of the fair says “Get Out There” while you still can.

The fair opens Wednesday and runs through its final day on the fourth of July.

Ticket prices range from 12 to 20 dollars, and children under five are free.


From KPBS, you’re listening to San Diego News Now. Stay with me for more of the local news you need.


The mayor of Tijuana is moving into military housing after receiving multiple death threats.

Border reporter Gustavo Solis spoke with mayor Monserrat Caballero about the move, and what it means for the city.

Tijuana’s City Hall is called Palacio Municipal. Which translates to Municipal Palace. This imposing cement structure is the seat of Tijuana’s political power. And that seat belongs to Mayor Monserrat Caballero. “Esta silla no es solo fotografia y cosas bonitas.” She says this seat isn’t just for photo-ops. It comes with a price.“En una ciudad como Tijuana, en un pais como Mexico, sabes los riesgos que implican esta silla.” Caballero says that in a city like Tijuana, and in a country like Mexico, elected officials understand the risk  of holding public office. She should know. Tijuana’s mayor and her son are moving to a military base next week. The decision came at the suggestion of the National Guard and after Caballero received death threats.“Van a matar a mi familia, situaciones de ese estilo. Por ese estido que deje de trabajar.” Caballero says she received voicemails from men threatening to kill her family unless she resigns.The mayor’s move renews focus on Tijuana’s safety and Mexico’s democracy. “But I think it raises more interesting questions just about the quality of democracy in Mexico and who is going to run for office. Cecilia Farfan is head of research at the Center for U.S. and Mexican Studies at UC San Diego. When you have this type of situation happen then it becomes a question of if I was thinking of running to be mayor of Tijuana and these are the security conditions am I really interested in running for that?” This also casts doubt on elected officials who aren’t being threatened. Are they in cahoots with criminal organizations? Caballero is certainly trying to portray her current situation that way.“No le parece extrano que siendo la unica presidenta municipal que de resultados sea la unica correteada? Caballero says her administration has taken 1,700 guns off the streets and arrested 60 murder suspects. She claims   mayors of other cities aren’t being threatened. If she was in league with the cartels, she wouldn’t be in this situation. “Si tuviera nexus con el narcotrafico no me estuvieran persiguendo.” Despite the death threats against her, the Mayor of Tijuana wants people to believe  the city is still safe. She says those who don’t go looking for trouble won’t find any. “Tijuana es una ciudad Segura para el ciudadano comun. Los homicidos en tijuana – ocho por cada dies – suceden por venta o compra de Drogas.” She says 80% of homicides are tied to drug sales. More than 2,000 people were murdered in Tijuana last year. And 769 in the first five months of this year. Still, Farfan says there’s a tendency in Mexico to minimize violent crime as something that only happens to bad people.“When you turn it just into oh it’s just criminals killing each other, then unfortunately as you said there’s  no incentive to really address it.” People in Mexico tend to believe that as long as crime stays in working class neighborhoods and out of the rich tourist areas, then it is under control. The public and private boosters have spent millions in Tijuana’s manufacturing, medicine, tourism, and culinary sectors. News that the mayor of Tijuana is moving to a military barracks could scare off potential investors and tourists. Again, Farfan from the Center of U.S. and Mexico Studies. “I think unfortunately Tijuana is part of the border narrative that is always casted in this perpetual zone in crisis.” It’s worth noting that Tijuana is a city of 2 million people. The vast majority of them have no interaction with crime. Caballero is trying to project an image of security and strength.“La realidad es que yo no tengo mideo. Hoy fui a la calle a mi agenda y Tambien estube en otro evento. Edtuve aqui en mi oficina.” She says she’s not afraid. She’s still attending public events and walking the streets of Tijuana. She has no plans to step down. Gustavo Solis, KPBS News.


People living in southeast San Diego, on average, die 10 years sooner than people living in central San Diego.

That’s according to data from the Health and Human Services Administration.

Reporter Katie Hyson spoke with an advocate who is sounding the alarm.

It should be a state of damn emergency over here.  Barry Pollard co-chairs the community leadership team for Southeast San Diego. I have to ask myself, if these numbers were in La Jolla, would everyone be so casual with them? Pollard says the gap is a result of many longstanding problems, but his team has identified one to tackle first. The southeast has no 24-hour urgent care centers. They approached existing urgent care providers about meeting that gap. He anticipates at least one location offering extended evening hours in the Southeast sometime next year. He says they will need to make community members aware of the option. Many currently rely on the emergency room. We didn't get here overnight and we're not going to be able to fix things overnight. But we can correct the ship. A County Health and Human Services Agency spokesperson could not provide KPBS with a breakdown of what it spends in different areas of the city, and did not say how leadership plans  to respond to the data. Katie Hyson, KPBS News.


Oceanside's first homeless shelter is expected to open next month.

But the road there took a lot more time…. and a lot more money than expected.

North County reporter Tania Thorne looked into the increased costs and delays. 

The city of Oceanside and the San Diego Rescue Mission have been working together since late 2021 on the city’s first homeless shelter. The center will be set up at the old Ocean Shores High School campus - but the property required a complete overhaul. The city agreed to carry the costs of the remodel, originally estimated at around $2 million dollars. That amount has now increased to $7 million. The cost overruns have a lot to do with just really ancient on site stuff like asbestos removal and things like that that are very costly. That was Oceanside mayor Esther Sanchez. She said part of the increased costs would be covered by a federal grant. The 50 bed navigation center is expected to open in July.  TT KPBS News. 


San Diego's Privacy Advisory Board voted late last week to reject an SDPD proposal to start using streetlight cameras again.

Here’s Sci-tech reporter Thomas Fudge with more.

Cameras installed in San Diego streetlights haven’t been used since 2020. And the police department has proposed a plan to start using them again to record activities that may include crime. But the city’s privacy advisory board, after hearing lots of public testimony, would not recommend the city council allow the camera use under the department’s plan. Board member Pegah Parsi says  the police didn’t tell them enough about how data from the cameras would be used and shared. She also disagreed with police who say this is not tracking of people, just observations in public places. “I think that analogy breaks down very quickly when we start talking about new, advanced technologies that are AI enhanced. Particularly when we’re talking about mass untargeted pervasive surveillance.” The vote by the privacy board does nothing to stop the advancement of the police department’s policy. It will ultimately be approved or denied by the city council. SOQ.


State leaders are holding a press conference this morning, near Sacramento, to push a pending law that would increase cybersecurity for school districts across California.

Education reporter M.G. Perez has the story.

Assembly Bill 10-23 requires the California Cyber Security Integration Center to share immediate cyber threats and provide support to targeted school districts, county offices of education, and charter schools. Right now the state agency is not required to do that.  Last year’s data breach in San Diego Unified …and the earlier ransomware attack on Los Angeles Unified are just the latest examples of how vulnerable education systems can be. The pending legislation also provides resources to keep families safe from cyber criminals. Troy Flint is with the California School Boards Association.“Oftentimes the entry point is not even at this District central office or even at a school site could be when somebody took a device home. They had insecure practices there.” AB 1023 is expected to pass in the state senate this summer and become law by the start of the new school year. MGP KPBS News.


Coming up.... Why Marvel Studios is scaling back its presence at Comic-Con this year. We’ll have that and more, just after the break.


Since the beginning of this month, two hikers have died at Three Sisters Falls in the Cleveland National Forest.

Reporter Melissa Mae has some tips to stay safe while out on the trails.

MM: Hiking guides rate Three Sisters Falls moderate to strenuous due to areas of rocky unstable terrain, extreme heat risk and no shade. “Getting back up is very challenging, especially if it's warm.” MM: Richard George is the Search and Rescue Coordinator for the San Diego Sheriff's Department and recommends dressing appropriately, wearing sunscreen and bringing at least a liter of water for every hour on the trail.“Don't go hiking by yourself. Hike with family and friends. If you do hike alone, be sure to let someone know where you're going, at what time you're expected to be home and also make sure your cell phone is charged in the event of an emergency.” MM: George says rescues are challenging and expensive. While emergency personnel put their lives on the line searching for lost hikers… Taxpayers foot the bill for the rescues. Melissa Mae KPBS News.


Marvel Studios announced it will be scaling back its presence at Comic-Con next month.

It’s taking out its Hall H screenings and panels.

SDSU Marketing Professor Miro Copic says Marvel executives made the decision because the studio had fewer movies this year, and because of the writers strike and now a potential actors strike.

“The next big shoe to drop, is the actor’s strike. On June 30th, the contract for the Screen Actors Guild is done. They haven’t gotten a new contract. So, if they go on strike, that means that actors can’t do promotional activities. So they can’t go to Comic-Con even if they wanted to, to promote a movie or a show or whatever.”

Comic-con is July 20th through July 23rd at the Convention Center in downtown.

We’ll be bringing you more Comic Con coverage in the coming weeks.


That’s it for the podcast today. As always you can find more San Diego news online at KPBS dot org. I’m Debbie Cruz. Thanks for listening and have a great Monday.

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The mayor of Tijuana is moving into military housing after receiving multiple death threats. In other news, according to data from the Health and Human Services Administration, people living in Southeast San Diego, on average, die 10 years sooner than people living in central San Diego. Plus, Marvel Studios announced it will be scaling back its presence at Comic-Con next month.