Mayor of Tijuana calls on the U.S. to lift the travel alert to the city

He considers that the measure was unjustified

MEXICO. - The mayor of Tijuana, Carlos Bustamante, asked the United States to lift the travel warning recently issued by the State Department that affects this border city.

The figures "speak for themselves" and show that Tijuana, located in the northwestern part of the state of Baja California, has taken significant steps towards public safety, said Bustamante, who also felt that this measure was "totally unjustified" by the U.S. on issuing this warning.

In recent warning updates issued to travelers who planned to make a trip to Mexico, the State Department urged tourists to beware of two cities, Mexicali and Tijuana, both located in the state of Baja California, Mexico, which have been affected by violence from organized crime.

According to the U.S. government, Tijuana recorded 278 homicides from January to June 2013, while the murder rate in Mexicali rose from 14.3 per 100,000 inhabitants in 2011 to 15.8 in 2012. 18 other Mexican states were included in this travel warning.

Bustamante asked Washington to take Tijuana off from the list of cities with the highest crime rates, based on the figures that Municipal Public Security Secretariat has achieved regarding the evolution of crime in this border city, according to a statement issued by the city council.

Among them, Bustamante noted the reduction of theft in all its forms by 35% percent in 2010-2013 and a 62% reduction in kidnappings.

So far this year alone there has been only one complaint for kidnapping, mentioned the mayor, who also added that because of these "favorable results, it has allowed from 2010 to date, an investment of 2.3 million dollars" by the private sector.

The new security strategy has led to these advances, and the warnings from the U.S. authorities do not contribute to the joint effort, he said.

Bustamante also recalled that the strengths of this approach are due to the renovation of the police forces, and the effective coordination between the municipal, state and federal security forces.


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