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Marine Leaders Make Mexican Weekends Tough to Get

Marine commanders have extended an order making it very tough for Camp Pendleton Marines and sailors to visit Mexico.

The directive was put in place Christmas Eve and on Wednesday was extended indefinitely by Lt. Gen. Samuel Helland, who commands some 40,000 Marines and sailors from the expeditionary force at the base.

The move comes because of the continuing drug violence in and around Tijuana.

Troops who want to visit Mexico must get written permission from a lieutenant colonel or above and jump through several other hoops.

Expeditionary force spokesman Mike Alvarez says Marine officials are not pitting themselves against Mexico, they just want to look out for the safety of their charges.

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