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San Diego college professor stabbed to death in his Tijuana apartment

Henry Acejo A popular professor at three San Diego-area colleges was stabbed to death last week in his apartment in Tijuana by an unknown assailant, according to Mexican authorities.

Henry Abalayan Acejo, a 45-year-old instructor of Filipino-language courses and English as a second language, died on the night of Dec. 18, according to a statement released Tuesday by the Baja California attorney general's office.

Authorities did not disclose a motive for the crime. Acejo's body was found in the dining room with multiple stab wounds, and his gray 2002 BMW 325i was found at the apartment building in Tijuana's upscale Zona Rio district, officials said.

Acejo lived in Tijuana because it was more affordable, according to a friend interviewed by the San Diego Union-Tribune. The friend, Ondine Massot, said that she worried about Acejo because he was too kind and trusting, and because he had been robbed at a previous apartment in Tijuana.

"I did not feel safe for him," she told the Union-Tribune.

Acejo was described by colleagues and students as a beloved and dedicated lecturer. An immigrant from the Philippines, he taught at Southwestern College, San Diego State University and Mid-City Community College.

"He was a very popular instructor whose creativity, knowledge, hard work and dedication to his students as a professional were deeply striking, and whose upbeat personality, ubiquitous smile, sense of humor and care for others as a person were extraordinary," said Ghada Osman, the chair of the department of linguistics and Asian/Middle Eastern languages at San Diego State University.


Reward offered in Christmas shooting

Rose Parade forecast: chilly with a chance of rain

Damaging winds' expected across Southern California

-- Richard Marosi in San Diego

Photo: Henry Acejo. Credit: San Diego State University

Comments () | Archives (22)

I wondering if he supported the Dream (nightmare) Act?

This is sad. I lived for many years in the Tijuana area,although I could have lived in San Diego. This was before the escalation in narco violence in Mexico. It was a great cultural experience to live there. Even then, I would never have driven a BMW in this area. This poor guy sounds very naive and it is unfortunate that he lost his life.

Is time to send the Marine and the California Battalion yet??????

Dream Act?

Millions of immigrants know what they are doing moving to US. You must be nuts to chose to live in TJ.

Extremely poor decision making skills. Tiajuana..c'mon.

Many part-time college teachers live in poverty in CA and in the US, and they struggle in all sorts of ways to survive, teaching a class here, driving across the county to teach another, being unemployed often. So when people attack college teachers as being ivory tower elitists, they should realize that many are low paid workers who do a great deal of free work for colleges and universities. Part-timers teach the majority of college classes in California.

What do you expect living in TJ?

Moved to TJ because it's cheaper? You can't put a price on safety. A tragedy, and all too indicative of the direction Mexico is taking.

Poor guy. How affordable was that apartment? It cost him his life.

We have to worry about people who are "too kind and trusting?" What is this world turning to...

The drug gangs have made the border towns very dangerous. Soon California will be just as dangerous because of more pot heads and drug dealers popping up in the state, and little enforcement of drug laws because of prison overcrowding.

Bummer. high price to pay for cheap rent

Do not go or live in any part of Mexico...I repeat do not go to Mexico not now for a long time while the drug cartel is at war with the innocent people and the federal goverment and the police. you well be brought back in a pine wood box.

Post a comment ...what for so you won't print it.....where's the freedom to express yourself in this news paper.!!!!!

Such a shame that the socal ecomomy is so ridiculously overpriced that he felt he had to live in third-world, amoral, murderous Mexico.

George2 is spot on!

I know... I gave up teaching at colleges because we all had to cobble together assignments at 3 colleges minimum to make something somewhat close to a living wage. And, have no benefits.

Henry, RIP. You worked very hard at something you loved dearly. May your students honor your memory by living in such a way as to inspire others.

I can't believe some of you are focusing on why he chose TJ as a personal address and actually blames the person who lose his life. Dude was a teacher, a part time teacher who is basically part time unemployed. He chose to stay in North America to educate young people. To blame him for his death is plain ignorance.

Each day Mexico does nothing brings the horror of the entire Mexican/American Drug crisis closer to home for us all. Everyone of you who engages in any drug use here at home enables the cartels to execute the drug trade with impunity right here in America. If you think it doesn't matter, no worries, soon it will. Shame on us all

Yeah it sad that he was murder, but living in T.J and driving a 2002 bmw is just asking for trouble. And if he was poverty stricken why was he still driving a luxury car?

I live in Rosarito Beach Mexico. There are lots of reasons why Americans live in Mexico. Many like myself, are disabled and can only work part time or not at all. The problem is not Mexico or 97% of the Mexican people. A huge portion of the problem is American Law and the American Peoples disregard for the law. There would be no drug war or drug trade if Americans were not buying the drugs. As the economy, joblessness and foreclosures have spiraled out of control in San Diego County, the price of housing rental has increased. Seniors on fixed incomes with medical needs, disabled persons, and the under employed are faced with homelessness. My government finds it more important to feed Hati, and the world than its own people. I get $720 a month and as such am considered to have to much income for housing or food assistance. The man was not stupid, and a 2002 BMW 3 series is not a luxury automobile even by Mexican Standards. There are just as many shiny new luxury car owners (Mexicans) here in Mexico, a 2002 BMW does not stand out.

I heard someone got stabbed once in Los Angeles. I can't imagine why anyone would choose to live there.


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