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The Los Angeles Times had a fascinating story over the weekend about the effects that Tijuana’s escalating violence is having on upper-class residents who now fear for their safety.

Amid a rash of kidnappings, some Tijuana residents are settling in Chula Vista. The Times’ Richard Marosi says:

People have arrived in south San Diego County with only the clothes on their back. Kidnapping victims released after lengthy captivities have shown up long-haired and disheveled, sometimes with fresh wounds.

Real estate agents tell of clients with fingers missing, sliced off by kidnappers who sent them to relatives as proof the victims were alive.

The presence of the immigrants, most in the U.S. legally, is unmistakable in the many gated, master-planned communities of eastern Chula Vista, where parking lots for upscale stores and spas are sprinkled with Baja California license plates.

So many upper-class Mexican families live in the Eastlake neighborhood and Bonita, an unincorporated community adjacent to Chula Vista, that residents say the area is becoming a gilded colony of Mexicans, where speaking English is optional and people can breathe easy cruising around in their Mercedes-Benzes and BMWs.

ROB DAVIS

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