Tijuana's new police chief was welcomed on his first day on the job with a severed head and a warning in a black bin bag from a Mexican drug cartel.
Tijuana's new police chief, Rafael Vázquez was sent a terrifying gift on his very first day in the job, that of a severed head accompanied by a threat from a drug cartel.
The severed head was found decomposing within a black plastic bag that had been left in the street, along with a message that accused the new police chief of being a "kidnapper who takes orders from the Sinaloa Cartel."
"Tijuana will bleed because of that kidnapper," the threat said, referring to Chief Rafael Vázquez, who had previously been a police officer for the last 19 years.
The following night it is reported that two other messages were found in different areas of the city, both repeating the same threat of violence and bloodshed, this time though the messages were left with what is believed to be animal meat.
Tijuana is one of the key hubs in the cartels drug trafficking route to the United States and constantly ranks within the top 10 most violent and dangerous cities in the world. Most of the violence in Tijuana is down to waring drug cartels fighting it out for control of the drug smuggling routes.
Local authorities have said they believe that the threats have come from rivals of the Sinaloa Cartel, which was led by the infamous "El Chapo" before he was sentenced to life in prison in the United States.
Chief Rafael Vázquez has not made any public comments about the incident, however, Monserrat Caballero, the mayor of Tijuana has confirmed her support for the new chief in a press conference, where she said: “If there are threats, then it’s about his work, and for me that is an indication that the crooks are afraid.”
Rafael Vázquez is no stranger to controversy, in April 2017, a banner was hung from a bridge that directly accused him and a fellow police officer of “collaborating with the Sinaloa Cartel, for whom they clear a path and are also dedicated to extortion, theft and abuse of authority.”
Then in 2019, he had accusations made against him that he was selling positions within the police force, as well as other crimes which included torture and theft, however, he has never been actually charged with any crime.
Monserrat Caballero has confirmed that she will continue to support Vázquez so long as there are no formal accusations presented against him from prosecutors.
Corruption in Mexico is a huge problem and it is not uncommon for drug cartels to make false allegations against authorities that are threatening their criminal organisations, they often do this to attempt to compromise their credibility, with the high levels of corruption in Mexico people often find it difficult as to who they should believe.
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