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USA Today dropped in on crime in Tijuana this week, taking a broad look at the city’s violent 2006.

The story tries to tie Tijuana’s crime back to impacts in San Diego, but offers little evidence. The story says:

Though exact numbers are hard to come by, experts on both sides of the border say they believe the number of people crossing to work or spend money has declined because of the fear of crime.

The story’s value is in its overarching contextual view of Tijuana’s crime problem.

Tijuana, population 1.2 million, saw one slaying a day in 2006 and roughly two kidnappings a week. The murder rate for a city of Tijuana’s size is not huge. Some U.S. cities have a larger murder rate, including Washington, D.C.

It is the way crimes are committed that makes the difference.

Thirty victims were police officers, including three found decapitated. Such a slaughter of officers would be shocking for a U.S. city, (San Diego Mayor Jerry) Sanders says.

And the kidnapping is a surreal development. Kidnapping for ransom is nearly non-existent in the whole of the USA. In Tijuana, there were close to 100 reported incidents of it last year.

ROB DAVIS

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