March 20, 2013
Associated Press, 3/19/2013
Mexico’s top tourism official said the country may drop out of the world’s top 10 tourist destinations, a spot it has held for years. Tourism Secretary Claudia Ruiz Massieu hasn’t said why the drop occurred, but there were declines in 2012 in two areas that have been affected by violence: border tourism and cruise ship stopovers.
The number of cruise ship passengers stopping in Mexico dropped 3 percent in 2012 and more than 15 percent over the past two years. The number of border visitors dropped 5.3 percent in 2012, according to Tourism Department figures. Mexican border cities such as Reynosa and Nuevo Laredo have experienced continued waves of drug cartel violence, and a number of cruise operators have dropped port calls along Mexico’s western Pacific coast. Both areas have been affected by drug-fueled violence that has cost more than 70,000 lives in the past six years.
March 18, 2013
Nieman Journalism Lab, 3/15/2013
A study on social media use in Mexico found that Twitter users are taking up the role of informal correspondents on the sidelines of the country’s ongoing drug war. In cities like Monterrey, Veracruz, and Saltillo, Twitter users are spreading the word on shootings, arrests, and clashes between the cartels and police. And, researchers say, they’ve developed a kind of media-esque ecosystem that values traits like sourcing and attribution.
This is far from the first time conflict and citizen media have risen hand in hand, a pattern repeated in countries like Egypt and Syria, among others. That’s because there’s a common set of circumstances in many of these situations: “For many Mexicans, social media has become a fluid and participatory information platform that augments and often replaces traditional news media and governmental institutions,” the study says.
March 18, 2013
The Dallas Morning News, 3/15/2013
The popular Mayan Riviera is seeing a resurgence of spring break tourism, underscored by the heavy presence of Texans frolicking on white, sandy beaches, after a period when warnings of violence kept many away. For the first time in three years, the Texas Department of Public Safety didn’t widely publicize a travel warning for Mexico, although it continues to warn on its website of “continued violence throughout the country,” including some resort towns.
The move has contributed to an easing of tensions between Texas and Mexico and to more Texans traveling to Mexico now and in the weeks ahead, residents and hotel officials say. About 100,000 visitors are expected for spring break this season, including the Discher family of Plano.
March 11, 2013
As lawmakers in Washington continue to negotiate over immigration policies, they’ll have to grapple with a fundamental disagreement about the link between immigrants and crime.
Elected officials from Pennsylvania to Arizona have argued that undocumented immigrants contribute to higher crime rates, but some social scientists tell a different story. They argue that first-generation immigrants actually make their communities safer — and they point to some of the nation’s biggest cities as proof.
February 19, 2013
Mexican government measures to ensure greater safety of journalists, along with strategies adopted by media and journalists to continue reporting from highly dangerous parts of the country were examined last week by a delegation from the International Press Institute (IPI) and the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA).
The delegation met with a wide variety of interested actors including federal, state, and intergovernmental officials; journalists and publishers; foreign diplomats and representatives of civil society groups in Mexico City. The delegation, which visited Mexico from 10-13 February, also looked into other issues challenging independent media reporting, such as media dependence on government advertising and concentration of ownership in the broadcasting sector.
February 7, 2013
The Los Angeles Times, 2/6/2013
Despite past assurances that tourists are safe in their country, Mexican tourism officials are again faced with trying to explain away another report of crime against foreign visitors. The latest incident took place in the resort town of Acapulco, where six Spanish tourists on vacation were raped Sunday by masked gunmen.
Crime tied to drug violence has reduced the number of tourists from the U.S. to Mexico in recent years but Mexican tourism officials have responded by targeting travelers from countries such as Russia, Brazil, Peru and Colombia. Despite the violence, Mexico predicts it will host 24.7 million foreign visitors in 2012, surpassing last year’s record of 23.4 million. But the latest crime report will only make it harder for Mexico to shrug off the incidents of crime in tourist towns as isolated and rare, experts say.
December 7, 2010
Houston Chronicle, 12/7/2010
When John Dahill put his El Paso house on the market two years ago, an eager young couple from Juarez looked at it the first day it was listed. They liked the house for the same reasons the Dahill family did — it had a large, grassy lot with river irrigation, mature trees, a church was at the end of the street and the nearby school had a sterling reputation. It was a great place to raise to two young boys.
But the Juarez couple had another reason to be looking.
They were worried about the safety of their family in Juarez, just across the border in Mexico. Murder, kidnappings and extortion were becoming daily events as the battle between two warring drug cartels escalated. The couple was hoping to sell their house so they could move to safer El Paso. As it turned out, the Dahill house sold quickly, but to another couple. They were moving from Mexico City.
November 6, 2010
Just over half of the “narco executions” registered in Mexico this year have been concentrated in 15 municipalities. The most violence cities range from the border- Cuidad Juárez, Tijuana, and Monterrey- to the port cities of Mazatlán and Acapulco, which are two of the top destinations for national tourists, to Cuernavaca, which is in dispute since the death of Arturo Beltán Leyva, “El Barbas.”
The state of Sinaloa has five of the top 15 cities with the most killings- Culiacán, Ahome, Navolato and Guasave, in addition to Mazatlán.
View the map here. If you have a Reforma subscription, view the interactive map here.
October 20, 2010
The Miami Herald, 10/20/2010
Rival criminal gangs have hijacked this glitzy-but-faded Pacific resort, where the Hollywood Rat Pack once sipped martinis, Elvis filmed a musical comedy, Elizabeth Taylor wed (again) and starlets danced the night away.
Acapulco’s newest arrivals are drug lords, and residents now cower from shootouts and keep a watch out for severed heads. Some visitors to the city simply vanish. Gunmen seized 20 Mexican men in broad daylight on Sept. 30. They haven’t been seen since. Occupancy rates have plummeted along the ghostly boulevard of beachfront hotels. Restaurants sit empty – or shuttered up.
The mayhem hasn’t dulled the beauty of Acapulco, set on a semicircular bay flanked by mountains alive with bougainvillea, a stunning backdrop that made it the nation’s oldest and best-known resort, “the pearl of the Pacific.” Violence has cast a dark cloud on many of the city’s 800,000 residents, however.