The 17-year-old heir of a prominent and wealthy Tijuana family was gunned down on Monday as he sat in his parked Audi near his home in the city's posh Chapultepec district. Gunmen fired more than 50 shots from AK-47 rifles at José Fernando Labastida Fimbres, whose grandfather founded the successful Calimax supermarket chain. José commuted daily during the week -- as many young people do in the bi-city region -- to the elite Mater Dei school across the border in Chula Vista.
Authorities said the killing appeared targeted specifically at him. An uncle to José was killed last year. Sandra Dibble of the Union-Tribune has more from the Tuesday night Mass in the boy's honor.
I was in Tijuana when it happened. On Monday afternoon, tending to family business near downtown, police vehicles were racing with sirens wailing on the streets all around us. "People are getting killed right now," came a remark. True enough, at least five other people were shot or found dead in Tijuana on Monday. One victim was only a dismembered head found in a tunnel. We've also had plenty of macabre hangings in TJ in recent weeks.
Border boosters lately like noting that organized criminal violence in Tijuana is "not as bad" as it has been before, dropping in 2009 over 2008, but I say that's pretty mediocre thinking. Violence is violence. Dropping or not, the narco war is terrorizing communities, rotting justice systems, and claiming the lives of too many innocent people.
* Related at The Faster Times: "Mexico's Drug War Hits Home in California."