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Mexico stunned: Tijuana mayor asks narco to attack only merchants who refuse to be extorted

"Let them collect the bills from those who did not pay them," says leftist Montserrat Caballero, of Andrés Manuel López Obrador's party.

Montserrat Caballero, alcaldesa de Tijuana / El Universal.

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The video is spreading like wildfire on social media, with comments ranging from astonishment to outrage, amid comments ranging from astonishment to indignation. While surrounded by several military men and one civilian aide, the mayor of Tijuana, Montserrat Caballero, asked the drug mafias to "collect the bills from those who did not pay them what they owe them, not from the families, not from the citizens who work, because we are also watching " (sic).

Caballero, of the Morena party of the nation's president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), has been in office since November of last year.

Like much of its state, Baja California, Tijuana, Mexico's second most populous city (1.8 million inhabitants), is experiencing a wave of unrest characterized by the burning of public transportation and the blocking of highways.

As reported by BBC Mundo, which conspicuously gives little weight to Mayor Caballero's words, the drug cartel known as Jalisco Nueva Generación is behind the street unrest.

Tijuana is a particularly violent city: 82 murders were recorded in the first 13 days of June alone. By that time, the number of murders so far this year stood at 785. New York, with a population four times higher (8.3 million) and despite being in the midst of a crime wave, recorded 485 murders in all of 2021.