Listen to the audio report
about the rise of kidnapping on the Mexican side of the border [California Report: Fearing Kidnappings, Families Flee Tijuana
, KQED, 7/18/06].
In Tijuana, kidnapping is no longer an intramural activity between criminals. Nope, the bad guys realized the revenue potential in people snatching, so they have busied themselves with the latest crime trend. At least 50 Tijuana residents have been kidnapped so far this year.
As a result, fearful Tijuana Mexicans are increasingly relocating to the United States to escape the violence (including 490 murders in the city last year
). An estimated 350-400 families have recently moved from Tijuana to San Diego. A local real estate agent estimated that 60-70 percent of his clients are from Tijuana.
There is no mention of the touchy matter of citizenship "status" — this is public radio
— so the "exodus" of hundreds (thousands?) of Mexican nationals across the border to relocate in California is treated as normal, like I might move to Sacramento.
People have long been lured from Mexico to the United States by the promise of better wages. Now the prospect of safety has many Tijuana families fleeing north to San Diego. Mexican citizens groups say a record number of people have been kidnapped in Tijuana this year. The problem has caused an exodus to Southern Califonia.
There is one discouraging word, though: some San Diegans are concerned that the crime wave
the Mexican influx to their community — imagine that.