Official: Tijuana massacre may be related to pot bust
The execution-style killing of 13 people at a drug rehabilitation center in Tijuana on Sunday night might be related to a record-breaking bust last week of 134 tons of marijuana in the same city, Baja California state Atty. Gen. Rommel Moreno said, according to reports (link in Spanish).
"That is also one of the elements we are following," Moreno said.
The attorney general provided no other details on a possible link as the investigation into the massacre continued in the northern border city across from San Diego. (Here's coverage in The Times on the burning of the seized marijuana on Wednesday.)
In recent weeks, Tijuana has been heralded as a success story in Mexico's drug war for its drop in violence over previous years, resulting in a slow return to more tourist-friendly days. Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore spoke at a conference and festival in Tijuana earlier this month, but in the days after the event opened, "as if on cue," reported Richard Marosi in The Times, three headless bodies were hung from overpasses, among other killings.
The marijuana seized last week was bound for the United States, authorities said. Voters in California will decide next month whether to legalize the production and possession of small amounts of marijuana under Proposition 19, a proposal strongly opposed by Mexican President Felipe Calderon.
-- Daniel Hernandez in Mexico City
Photo: Soldiers stand before the burning of 134 tons of marijuana last week in Tijuana. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times