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  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Mar 2006
    Santa Clarita Ca

    Americans afraid to cross Nogales border into Mexico

    Americans afraid to cross Nogales border into Mexico
    Reported by: Associated Press
    Last Update: 1:57 pm

    A spate of drug-related killings the past few months in Nogales, Mexico, is keeping some residents in its U.S. sister city from crossing the border as they have long been accustomed to doing.

    Even lifelong residents of the area are refusing to cross the line to see relatives or friends. Others are going less frequently or restricting themselves to daytime visits. It's a dramatic change for what have long been close-knit communities.

    Shopkeeper Ernesto Chavez said his wife no longer goes bowling or has lunch on Tuesdays with her sisters on the other side, a 40-year tradition.

    Chavez, whose office supply store sits a half-block north of the Morley Avenue border crossing, said he told his wife a few months ago, "'I'm not going to tell you not to go, but it's your life, it's your body.' And she decided not to go. As simple as that."
    Now, her sisters come north to have lunch with her, Chavez said.

    Shootings, grenade attacks and even beheadings have plagued other Mexican border cities such as Tijuana and Ciudad Juarez for years but they have only recently arrived full-force in Nogales and the state of Sonora.

    Gunmen from drug-trafficking organizations have primarily targeted rival groups, but police and soldiers have suffered casualties in the violent swirl too; the state police director was ambushed at a central Nogales hotel in early November.

    What's more, gun battles occurring even in daylight on public streets, near stores and in restaurants within a few miles of the border have paralyzed the Mexican city's tourist-dependent economy.

    In mid-October, the U.S. State Department issued a travel alert warning Americans to be wary of going to Nogales, Mexico, because of the increasing violence. Area residents say the graphic descriptions of the violence in the Mexican media also have driven the message home vividly.

    Maria Armenta, a secretary who works downtown, said she and her family used to visit her grandfather, aunts and uncles across the border three to five times a week but that's changed.

    She and her mother haven't seen her grandfather for at least two months. "Right now we're scared that we don't know if we're going to get caught in any of those shootings," she said.

    Young adults who typically would frequent night clubs in Mexico, where drinking at age 18 is legal, have also shied away. Alexis Kramer, a Nogales High School senior, said her classmates have been warned off by their parents or realize that the clubs are located in an area where much of the violence has occurred."Many of us have friends across the line, or family, and we hear the stories, that after sundown they have to be home," she said.
    Even police officers are changing their habits because of the concerns.

    Nogales Assistant Police Chief Roy Bermudez said he and his family used to go to dinner in Mexico, or on Sundays take a walk to the curio shops.

    "And all that stopped ... . I don't want to subject my family to any undue harm or violence," Bermudez said. "The way it is right now, you're in a restaurant, and you don't even know who's sitting next to you, who these people are, and somebody comes in and just sprays the whole restaurant with bullets."

    Many people on both sides of the border are shocked, said Santa Cruz County Sheriff Tony Estrada. "It's a sad turn of events for this border community, because this is something we've never experienced before," Estrada said.

    "Nogales, Mexico, was like the last safe haven from this type of phenomenon," he said. "And it's changed the panorama forever. Things will never be the same. That doesn't mean things won't get better, but they'll never be the same." ... 968a23cdcc

    Associated Press
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  2. #2
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    Mar 2006
    Santa Clarita Ca
    Sun Bowl cancels team trips to Juarez

    Posted: Nov 26, 2008 04:27 PM PST

    Updated: Nov 26, 2008 04:27 PM PST

    By ABC-7 Reporter Darren Hunt

    EL PASO -- The escalating violence in Juarez, Mexico has led the Sun Bowl to cancel one of its long-standing traditions.

    Every year, Sun Bowl organizers take both of the participating teams to Juarez so they can experience the culture on the other side of the border.

    Those plans have been scratched this year.

    "Being on the border, we always tell the teams: 'you need to come to El Paso and have a twin-nation vacation,'" said Sun Bowl Executive Director Bernie Olivas.

    Game officials have decided that our sister city, where more than one thousand people have been killed this year, will be off limits for this year's teams.

    "We're saddened that we're going to have to stay on this side of the border," added Olivas, "But, I think it'll be harder on Mexico and Juarez because they're not going to get the economic impact they would normally get."
    The future Sun Bowl teams will not be the only ones staying on this side of the border. According to officials with the El Paso-Juarez Trolley Company, business is down 75% from last year.

    "It's been really slow right now, even though it should be a good season for us," said Ruben Moreno, who believes Juarez is not the only one feeling the impact. "The violence in Juarez is affecting American businesses here."

    Moreno said keeping the 200-plus Sun Bowl participants on this side of the Rio Grande will only make things worse.

    "If a big group is deciding not to go, imagine the impact that decision makes on smaller groups that might find out about that ... it really hurts," he said.

    The Sun Bowl's decision will cost the trolley company about $2,000, according to Moreno. To make up for that loss, his company will be offering tours of El Paso's Christmas lights for $17.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Dianne's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    I've been trying to figure out a way to get to Panama, driving rather than flying. There is no way other than to cross through Mexico, which terrifies me...even my insurance coverage does not cover events in Mexico as they know those dregs are going to hit your car, steal your car; whatever and the corrupt police won't do a thing about it.

    Damn..... sounds a good bit like the United States, lol. Hey, does anyone know the difference between Mexico and the United States, other than the US is bankrupt and Mexico isn't?

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