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Tijuana drug violence erupts anew, but the act is getting old

March 5, 2009 |  9:35 am

A federal police convoy moves through the streets of Tijuana.

Outposts has and remains supportive of Rosarito Beach as a reasonably safe place to surf, fish, ride horses or ATVs and party.

But this blog will not ignore bad news occurring in the vicinity of the northern Baja California tourist destination, and that includes Tijuana, where a far more volatile situation exists and where a gruesome discovery was made Tuesday.

Mexican police found six bodies, including three whose heads, arms and legs had been cut off, in Tijuana and nearby Tecate. Police also found a note that described the victims as snitches.

As usual, the bloodshed was related to an unceasing struggle between cartel factions to gain control of the flow of drugs into the United States. (See The Times' in-depth reporting on this at Mexico Under Siege.)

This largely involves Fernando Sanchez Arellano, leader of a faction founded by his uncles -- the infamous Arellano Felix brothers -- and top enforcer Teodoro "El Teo" Garcia Simental.

These two ought to wage a duel, and to the winner go the spoils, rather than participate in a tit-for-tat murder-and-dismemberment spree that seems only to thin populations within their ranks.

Perhaps if there were only one power in control of the Tijuana cartel, as was the case when the "brothers" were in charge, the level of violence throughout northern Baja would sharply diminish.

It's a sad thing to hope for, but so much violence and bloodshed is killing tourism and the livelihoods of thousands of innocent victims. It's all really sad.

--Pete Thomas

Photo: A federal police convoy moves through the streets of Tijuana. Credit: Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times