Fernández Menéndez on relative improvements in Tijuana:
There are examples of things being done better: one of them is Tijuana. Of course drug trafficking hasn't been ended in that city. But the simple comparison of life today with what happened several months ago is notable, but it hasn't been registered by society because the authorities haven't wanted to exhibit it. Nothing is simpler than launching a provocation to "demonstrate" that those advances aren't true.What's happened in Tijuana? A few things: the municipal government of Jorge Hank Rhon left office; a thorough project of cleaning up the policy was carried out; the state and municipal government got involved; the federation sent military, police, and federal forces that worked with a unified local command and dealt out extremely tough blows to the organized crime groups in the region. There is no other remedy or exit: the same must happen in Ciudad Juárez and Reynosa, Nuevo Laredo and Matamoros, to change the reality and the perception, break or mitigate the stagnation.
This is all the more striking because the city's biggest narco was arrested in January, which typically means warfare between the underlings. One thing that I think has been truly absent from the debate over Juárez (and elsewhere) is an explanation of why exactly Calderón's policy didn't tamp down violence, beyond broadsides against the use of the army. This column doesn't really dive into the specific differences between the policy in Tijuana and elsewhere, but it's a step in that direction. Although my worry is that the differences in government policy between Tijuana and elsewhere aren't that significant, and the reasons for the decline in violence in the former are due more than anything to dynamics at play within the criminal world, over which the government has little direct control.