US government workers ordered to shelter in place amid renewed violence in Tijuana

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US government employees in Tijuana, Mexico are ordered to shelter in place after a sudden spike in violent crime.

Mexican law enforcement is investigating a series of vehicle fires and reports of violence in the zone. The sudden outbreak of an apparent arson spooked officials and raised questions about the motive.

The US government has ordered employees to stay indoors and out of public places as a precaution.

Firefighters work at the scene of a burned-out public transportation vehicle after it was set on fire by unidentified individuals in Tijuana, Baja California state, Mexico August 28, 2019. 12, 2022.

Firefighters work at the scene of a burned-out public transportation vehicle after it was set on fire by unidentified individuals in Tijuana, Baja California state, Mexico August 28, 2019. 12, 2022.
(Guillermo Arias/AFP via Getty Images)

“The U.S. Consulate General in Tijuana is aware of multiple vehicular fires, roadblocks, and intense police activity in Tijuana, Mexicali, Rosarito, Ensenada, and Tecate,” the consulate said. “U.S. government employees have been ordered to shelter in place until further notice.”

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The consulate recommended United States Government employees “avoid the area, seek safe shelter if in the area, monitor local media for updates, be aware of the surroundings, and notify friends and family of [their] security.”

Armed members of the National Guard walk past the site of a burned-out public transit vehicle after it was set on fire by unidentified individuals in Tijuana, Baja California state, Mexico, August 28, 2019 12, 2022.

Armed members of the National Guard walk past the site of a burned-out public transit vehicle after it was set on fire by unidentified individuals in Tijuana, Baja California state, Mexico, August 28, 2019 12, 2022.
(Guillermo Arias/AFP via Getty Images)

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Montserrat Mayor Caballero Ramírez told reporters that at least 10 vehicular fires have been reported and that police reserves and National Guard units are ready to deploy if needed, according to NBC 7 San Diego.

People look at a burnt public transit vehicle after it was set on fire by unidentified individuals in Tijuana, Baja California state, Mexico August 28, 2018. 12, 2022.

People look at a burnt public transit vehicle after it was set on fire by unidentified individuals in Tijuana, Baja California state, Mexico August 28, 2018. 12, 2022.
(Guillermo Arias/AFP via Getty Images)

Tijuana has long been involved in national and international investigations into violent crime and drug trafficking.

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Earlier this year, US authorities announced the discovery of a huge tunnel stretching under the US-Mexico border which was probably used to transport undetected drugs.

The “fully operational” tunnel, more than 1,700 feet long, connects Tijuana to an industrial warehouse in San Diego.

Authorities said it contained a ‘sophisticated’ structural system that was likely used for smuggling heroinmethamphetamine and fentanyl in the United States