DRUG WAR HURTS MEXICAN RESORTS
Like March Madness, another treasured college tradition is to head south for SPRING BREAK and go absolutely bananas at a beach resort. First made popular in the '50's when Elvis and Doris Day went to Fort Lauderdale, students now go beyond Palm Springs and South Padre Island to resorts in Mexico as well.
Unfortunately, the only news items out of Mexico these days in involve horrid gang violence. In Cuidad Juarez alone, some 2,600 people were murdered last year, making it one of the world's most violent. In response, many universities have warned students not to cross the border at all this year. USC sent out the state department's e-mail warnings to all of its students. And while normally 100,000 students make the trip to Mexico each Spring, this year the figures are down.
All of which has the Mexican tourism officials (and the Corona brewery) very concerned. They launched a campaign called "Mexico: Time to go!" It attempts to show that the warnings ONLY apply to border towns, like Juarez, Nuevo Laredo and Tijuana. Meanwhile, they rank the safest resorts, with Cancun, Puerto Vallarta and Cabo on top. And, having visited two of these cities earlier this year, I saw no difference in public safety than before.
The biggest test came in a city not on the list of safe resorts: Acapulco. MTV had made plans to have their annual SPRING BREAK shows air from there. But, only a week before filming, a dozen people were killed in two days of violence. The Mexican Army gave MTV complete assurances everything would go smoothly, and judging from these photos, everything went as planned: PARTY ON WAYNE!!
It's nice to see that some Americans still have faith and visited our neighbor, who provides a great place to vacation at a great price. Let's just hope Americans will stop buying Mexican drugs and selling them American weapons!