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