U.S. government employees in Tijuana and parts of Baja California have been told to shelter in place as law enforcement in Mexico investigates multiple reports of vehicle fires, roadblocks and police activity, the U.S. Consulate in Tijuana said Friday night.
At least 19 vehicles were set on fire in five cities in northern Mexico: Mexicali, Ensenada, Tecate, Rosarito and Tijuana. The attacks on the vehicles were apparently coordinated and began around 6:45 p.m. local time and concluded at 7:15 p.m., including ones that occurred outside the Xolos stadium.
People were being asked to avoid the areas or find a safe place if they can't get out, and to monitor news outlets for updates.
The mayor of Tijuana, Montserrat Caballero Ramírez, said at least 10 vehicles were set on fire. The governor of Baja California, Marina del Pilar Ávila Olmeda, shared a message on her Twitter account condemning violence, and said police had detained multiple people.
Baja California joins the wave of violence that began this week in the states of Jalisco and Guanajuato in response to a military operation against leaders of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, and that extended Thursday night to the border city of Ciudad Juárez, which experienced hours of terror in which at least 11 people died.
Caballero ruled out a curfew in the city and said that citizens can continue with their activities on a daily and peaceful basis. Ramirez said he has 2,000 police officers and 3,000 National Guard troops ready if necessary.
There is still no information as to which organized crime group committed the violence.
This story will be updated as more information becomes available. To read this article in Spanish by our sister station, Telemundo 20, click here.