The US consulate is warning Americans against traveling to certain parts of Mexico, including Baja California, amid a rise in drug cartel violence.
At least 11 people were killed, shops were set on fire, and cars and buses were hijacked.
Some cities, like Tijuana and Ciudad Juarez, face nearly deserted streets as residents fear to get around.
“If you don’t belong in Tijuana, please stay home,” said Roger Blacksmith of Tijuana. “I mean, there’s a huge public safety concern because we don’t really know what’s going to happen next.”
Authorities in the western Mexican state of Michoacán have arrested 167 suspected members of a criminal drug gang. Hundreds of weapons were confiscated.
Criminals set up roadblocks.
RELATED: Tijuana has been ravaged by gang violence that has included vehicles being set on fire and roadblocks
It was the third time this week that Mexican cities have seen widespread arson and shootings by drug cartels. The gangs also appear to be targeting innocent bystanders.
“It’s frightening,” said Paulina Gómez-Wulschner, a journalist in Mexico. “People don’t even want to leave their homes. They kind of decided to stay home this weekend because of the cartel gang threat.”
Some of the worst acts of violence take place in Ciudad Juarez across the border from El Paso. Officials say gang members killed nine people, including four radio station employees.
Chihuahua State Attorney Roberto Fierro said: “The authorities are working to reclaim all the space that belongs to us and that organized crime is trying to take. We will not rest until we restore order and we will use all the resources necessary to make it happen.”
Officials say the Tijuana area is one of the largest drug corridors. It has also become a battleground between various drug gangs.
The effects of the travel warnings are showing.
“Yesterday they implemented the curfew and when you look at the border, the busiest border in the whole world, there’s so little going on,” said Franco Hogan, a San Diego resident.
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https://abc7.com/mexico-violence-tijuana-gang-war-drug-trafficking/12128521/ Violence in Mexico: Fear keeps city streets deserted amid surge in gang killings and travel warnings