And the media reports aren’t nearly as frightening as the reports coming from neighbors and friends. I don’t think I even want to go into those, but let’s just say I’m officially afraid for the first time. Last night, I got home from Las Vegas at around 11 p.m. and I drove by what I had always considered one of the happiest places in Tijuana, a seafood restaurant called Negrolandia. The road was blocked off and federal police with their Hummers and machine guns were surrounding the area. I still have no idea what went down, but I’m sure it was more violence, maybe a few more deaths. When I pulled up in front of my house, I kept thinking, “What if a cartel caravan drives by, or what if the police chase the cartel up my street?”
All the murders so far seem to be obviously drug related. The dead are reportedly victims of a power struggle between different factions. I’ve been told it’s the cartel from Sinaoloa trying to take over the drug trade in TJ since the Arellano Felix Cartel has been weakened due to arrests of top members. I have no idea if this is really what’s happening, as I’m partly going off what I’ve heard and partly relying on what little I’ve allowed myself to read (if I get too caught up in reading about the violence, my ability to sleep at night will vanish).
Truth is, I don’t want to know too much about the cartel, and after this post, I don’t think I want to write about it at all.
So what can I say? I’m not going to put my tail between my legs and leave just yet. I’ll stick it out and hope that the violence mellows before my family comes to celebrate Thanksgiving in Ensenada. What else can I do?
UPDATE: The San Diego Union-Tribune reported on the shooting at Negorlandia here.