Monday, October 16, 2006
Tijuana Mayor Jorge Hank Rhon was in San Diego Monday to say Tijuana is safe for visitors. KPBS Reporter Amy Isackson has the story.
A few weeks ago news of kidnappings, murders, and wild shoot-em-ups dominated the headlines south of the border. Everyday, authorities discovered tortured bodies. The assistant police chief was murdered. Three diners, including a San Diego woman, were shot to death when gunmen fired into a restaurant.
That violence and other incidents prompted the U.S. State Department to urge travelers to exercise extreme caution when visiting border cities, including Tijuana. Tijuana Mayor Jorge Hank Rhon says the media picks up on high impact crimes and that’s a misperception.
Hank: We have a lot of gossip about insecurity. We don’t have any paper substantiating insecurity in Tijuana. It is as safe as San Diego for any visitor.
Hank says organized crime groups linked to the high profile crimes, don’t target tourists. Also, he says an additional 120 federal police have arrived in Tijuana. And he says the Municipal Police is seeing some success.
At one point, the San Diego Association of Governments said employees could not travel to Tijuana for business until things settled down. San Diego Association of Government Executive Director Gary Gallegos says he is not banning all SANDAG travel to Tijuana. But he is reviewing each request.