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March 5, 2009
Tijuana tourism plunges as fear of drug cartels spreads

In Tijuana, a once-thriving city just across the border from San Diego, the increasingly deadly drug war has touched almost every part of life.

Americans used to flock to the city, but now largely avoid it. In 2005, a banner year for tourism, some four million people visited Tijuana.  Last year, the number dropped to around 400,000. Residents, too, are fleeing in fear. 

Worldfocus correspondent John Larson, producer Bryan Myers and field producers Megan Thompson and Ivette Feliciano explore Tijuana, beginning in a hospital that not only treats the victims of drug violence, but that operates in fear that its own people will get caught in the battle.

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I am becoming a regular now (of Worldfocus that is). Another super report. Please make sure to update on the ongoings, progress, what else can be done, etc. Here in San Diego we are unfortunately blessed with the worst newspaper on earth and we all know how poor the TV coverage is, even in a border city like San Diego.


I live in TJ half the month and have yet to witness or feel the violence. I am also American, not hispanic. The locals are extremely kind to me and although the risk of being kidnapped is always there, I never feel like I’ll be caught in gunbattle crossfire. I do have dark skin though and can blend in a bit. If I were a typical white gringo, I would stay away from Revolution and other tourist clubs. There is more to Tj though than just that street.


Thank you for the professional and nationwide coverage. Despite what you will probably be hearing in the weeks to come from the giant PR Firms recently hired to promote tourism in Baja, the people here are indeed frightened, and no one should have to live in a state of fear. As disturbing and ugly as this war is, perhaps with a better understanding of the suffering everyday folks are experiencing, Americans will finally take note of their neighbors to the south and the issues which affect both countries. Too bad they never bothered to pay attention before it came to this. Thanks again, Maggie

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