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A reawakening in Tijuana?

May 11, 2010 |  3:38 pm

Turista libre

Is Tijuana making a comeback -- once again? Staff writer Richard Marosi, who covers the border city for The Times, makes the case that "TJ," as locals often call it, is reawakening after the arrest in January of a notorious drug lord:

Four months after the capture of the notorious crime boss Teodoro Garcia Simental, this border city is showing glimpses of its old, vibrant self. Like survivors of a Category 5 hurricane of crime, residents are emerging from their homes, wary but hopeful.

While clashes in other key drug-trafficking centers such as Juarez are reaching new heights of brutality, the uniquely savage violence that has plagued Tijuana during the government's three-year war on organized crime has declined dramatically since the January arrest.

Sixth Street, or La Sexta, in Tijuana's traditionally tourist-friendly downtown district is a good place to gauge the pick-up. A new arrival is La Mezcalera, a stylish bar specializing in mezcal, tequila's smokier cousin. Twenty- and thirty-something locals with whom La Plaza keeps in contact say La Mezcalera is the place to be for TJ's creative set. Down the block is the popular dancehall La Estrella, and across the street, the cantina Dandy del Sur.

The blog Turista Libre chronicles trips to Tijuana by San Diego adventure-seekers, and has this post on a recent excursion south to see a set by the internationally known Tijuana musicians Nortec Collective.

Yet as the scene in Tijuana picks up again, many longtime locals remain cautious. They know the threat of violence only too well.

To check out posts in La Plaza about Tijuana, check out our archive here.

-- Daniel Hernandez in Mexico City

Photo credit: Turista Libre

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