Mexico Violence Killing Tourism Industry

Rosarito Mayor Says Publicity Of Crimes Slanted

As the body count rises south of the border, businesses are also drained of their lifeblood.

Although the weakened economy has had an impact, many say the fear of violence in border cities is to blame.  Tourism in cities like Tijuana and Rosarito is about 70 percent down since last year.

The mayor of  Rosarito, Hugo Torres,  said the publicity given to drug crimes is usually slanted against Mexican cities.

"Say the truth, but say the whole truth," Torres said. "The perception of the residents of California is the fact that we kill tourists in Rosarito. That's not true."

Torres along with other Mexican mayors say usually the mainstream media does not report that violence in Baja, California is among drug dealers and not against tourists.   The mayor said those who were killed in his city were either involved in the drug trade or had a criminal history.

As far as tourists' complaints of being stopped on the road for a bribe, Torres said a new program was created by his city to stop that problem.  It's taking part in a joint police force that will solely focus on protection for tourists.  More than 400 volunteers are also helping out the city by reporting any suspicious activity .

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