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Cablegate: Recent Shooting Incidents Near Us Congen Tijuana

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FM AMCONSUL TIJUANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9509
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INFO RUEHXC/ALL US CONSULATES IN MEXICO COLLECTIVE
RUEHTM/AMCONSUL TIJUANA 2294

234674
2009-11-13 17:23:00
09TIJUANA1144
Consulate Tijuana
UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY

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DE RUEHTM #1144/01 3171723
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FM AMCONSUL TIJUANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9509
RUEHME/AMEMBASSY MEXICO PRIORITY 6451
INFO RUEHXC/ALL US CONSULATES IN MEXICO COLLECTIVE
RUEHTM/AMCONSUL TIJUANA 2294
TAGS: ASEC KCRM PINS MX CASC
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 TIJUANA 001144

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR DS/IP/WHA, DS/TIA/PII, AND MEXICO CITY FOR RSO

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ASEC KCRM PINS MX CASC
SUBJECT: RECENT SHOOTING INCIDENTS NEAR US CONGEN TIJUANA
TIJUANA 00001144 001.2 OF 002


1. (SBU) U.S. Consulate General Tijuana's Law Enforcement
Working Group (LEWG) reports two recent incidents of shooting
near the U.S. Consulate General (USCG). Mission personnel were
not involved in the incidents, but they occurred within a few
blocks of where Mission personnel work and live, on the main
thoroughfare where staff commutes.

2. (SBU) The two separate shooting incidents were not aimed
at USCG staff nor facilities, but rather at Mexico federal
preventative police (PFP) staying at nearby hotels. Neither
USCG staff nor any Mexico officials were injured, but one
by-stander was injured during the first shooting and died within
a few hours in a local hospital.

3. (SBU) During the rotating assignments, Mexico federal
officers from PFP and federal investigative agency (AFI) reside
in several local hotels located on Boulevard Agua Caliente, a
main street about two blocks from the USCG. In Tijuana, Mexico
federal police officers are assigned for temporary tours lasting
from six months to a year. The temporary assignments, instead
of permanent assignments, are an attempt to reduce corruption by
local drug cartels. Their residence at the local hotels is
visible to the public due to uniformed presence by officers with
shoulder weapons posted at the street entrances.

4. (U) On Saturday, November 7, 2009, at approximately 2130
hours, dozens of shots were fired from a vehicle into the front
entrance lobby of the Hotel Corona Plaza located at Blvd. Agua
Caliente no. 1426, Tijuana, Baja California C.P. 22410. A
presumed drug cartel vehicle drove up to the sidewalk at the
front hotel entrance and fired high-powered weapons into the
glass entry doors. The hotel entrance is adjacent to the
sidewalk and street, with no setback. Bullet holes were visible
on the front building facade on street and second levels. A
by-stander was injured and died later, but no PFP officers were
were injured. The Hotel Corona Plaza is approximately one-half
mile from eight Mission residencies and the USCG Tijuana Annex
building where Non-Immigrant Visa services are provided. The
Hotel Corona Plaza is two miles from the USCG Tijuana Main
building, and approximately one mile from the Principal
Officer's residence (CGR).

5. (SBU) A second shooting by alleged drug cartel members
occurred on Tuesday, November 10, 2009, at approximately 2230
hours. Local pslice contacts reported that two or more moving
vehicles travelling on Blvd. Agua Caliente opened fire with
automatic weapons from both sides of the vehicles at two motels
located on opposite sides of the same street (ie. drive-by
shooting). The two motels were: the Motel Real Inn De Tijuana,
Blvd Agua Caliente No. 11451. Col: Hipodromo; Tijuana, Baja
California 22420; and Motel Golf: Blvd. Agua Caliente No. 11420,
Tijuana, Baja California.

6. (SBU) This shooting was aimed at the Real Inn hotel,
however no injuries resulted. Police contacts revealed that,
although not publicly released, investigators found a threat
message at the scene stating that aPFP officer named Vicente
Lagunas, nicknamed `Lumpa', was the target of both attacks.
Mexico military is assisting with investigation of allegations
that the named officer and others were involved in corruption
related to the disposition of drug evidence seized from a
cartel. Aside from the PFP officers at this motel, also housed
were some citizen detainees, reportedly under `house arrest'
pending criminal charges.

7. (SBU) During the last incident, the volley of shots from
various weapon types could clearly be heard at the USCG Main
building, at four Mission residences within the block, and also
a mile away at the CGR. The two motels targeted in the second
shooting are located within one-half mile of the USCG Tijuana
Main building and several Mission residences, and within one
mile of the CGR. None of the hotels involved in the shooting
incidents are utilized by Post or by TDY visitors. However,
Boulevard Agua Caliente is a main thoroughfare and contains
numerous hotels, including the nearby utilized Marriott, located
at Boulevard Agua Caliente No. 11553, Tijuana, Baja California
22420 Mexico.

8. (SBU) Drug cartel or organized crime groups attacks on
Mexico municipal level, state, and federal police agencies have
been increasingly bold and visible in the last six months in
Tijuana. There have been forty policemen murdered in Baja
California so far in 2009, during coordinated attacks on police
stations, fixed posts, and marked police vehicles. Cartels have
announced in `narco-messages' left at crime scenes and on the
municipal police radio frequency, that they will continue
killing police until Tijuana Public Safety and Security
Secretary, Lt. Col. Julian Leyzaola, resigns his leadership of
the municipal agencies. Publicly, Leyzaola has announced in

TIJUANA 00001144 002.2 OF 002


response that he will not resign, and will continue his clean-up
and anti-corruption efforts.


9. (SBU) RSO and Post's law enforcement representatives (LEWG)
will remain in close contact with local U.S. contacts regarding
developments, and with local Mexican law enforcement
counterparts for sharing of any details of investigation. Post
will continue to monitor the situation in
Baja California. For comments or questions, please contact RSO
at 011-52-664-622-7464.
KASHKETT

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