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Is Rosarito Beach safe? City hopes to sell point to travel writers

Rosarito Beach

There has been heated discussion on Outposts over whether Rosarito Beach is safe while a narco war rages out of control in the vicinity of the Baja California border-area tourist destination.

Town officials and expatriate residents maintain that tourists are probably safer now than before the upturn in drug-related killings during the past two years because there are more cops who are better-paid and screened regularly to make sure they've not been corrupted.

How confident are tourism officials that this is true? So confident that they're hosting six travel writers from the U.S. during the last week of January.

A gamble, yes, but a necessary one if the city hopes to lure precious tourists back to a city known for its carefree party atmosphere, its surfing, fishing and proximity to the high-desert wine country.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I felt safe there during a recent visit. I've also been checking the headlines recently and things have been pretty quiet on the killing front within Rosarito Beach.

(Not so in the mainland border city of Ciudad Juarez, across the Rio Grande from El Paso, Texas. There have been more than 50 drug-related murders already this month in what was Mexico's most violent city in 2008.)
Interestingly, Rosarito Beach Mayor Hugo Torres told me that the problem might be abating because the bad people have killed too many of their own kind off.

Wouldn't that be nice!

Unfortunately, there is always another bad person to fill a dead bad person's shoes, simply because there are riches to be made by selling drugs, and little opportunity to make money elsewhere in Mexico.

Anyway, Rosarito Beach may be a victim of its geography, but it can be thankful it's not even closer to the border, like Tijuana, or worse -- Ciudad Juarez, which appears to have become ground zero in the battle to control the flow of drugs into the U.S.

-- Pete Thomas

Photo by Al Schaben/Los Angeles Times

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Comments (11)

What’s Really Happening
June 5, 2009 by bajaman

do not believe anything written by those with vested interests(hoteliers,real estaters,restaurateurs etc)
I live here and know of no one who hasn’t been robbed either on the street, in their homes or by the police! Ca. is deporting every criminal it possibly can and they are all ending up here doing their dirty deeds.
Do yourself a favor and enjoy California!

I lived in Rosarito Norte a little more than 2 1/2 years ago for just over 6 months. There were no problems then, but just b4 I left there were 4 Rosarito policemen who were beheaded close to TJ and a drug related murder a few blocks from where I lived.

It's not frickin Watts where the Crips and the Blood are battling it out, that's for sure. It wasn't bad at all to live there.

I had a BMW parked in my driveway and no one ever gave me a problem.

My neighbors were a Canadian and a guy from India and they felt safe too.

Donald Trump and Tiger Woods are building resorts there. All is good.

People will get shot late night in TJ or some cities in America. Happens all the time.

Lots of expats in Rosarito and I wouldn't have a problem moving there again, but willl just visit.

I moved there to cut costs and it fit my needs at the time.

I live in Rosarito and have lived here for 3 years. I feel safer here than Los Angeles or any big city in the U.S. I have my family here and we think that anyone out there that has an opinion should come here first and see for themselves. This is a great place to live and to visit!!!!

LMAF Do you see the pic of the Catamar Dunes in around Primo Topia? Last year there were Cartel killings at the dunes. Huge gun battle between Cartels. Blood,Panic,fear,over priced lodging,over priced beer and extrem bacteria at most taco stands along with lousy customer service (do food service workers even wash their hands? NO THANKS.


the body count since january 2007 is @ 8330+ right now!

rosarito & ensenada are not the prime murder hotspots, but they're close enough to no go out at night and to during the day stay in a hotel or rented house...

just the body count shows that the situation is worse than the "cocaine cowboys" days in the late 70s and early to mid 80s in miami, FL. the annual murder rate back then was like 10% of todays numbers and back then it looked like miami and southern FL was a lost cause... mexico needs HELP, they needs educations, they need jobs and they need good people that help them battle corruption...

just yesterday, january 23rd 2009, a repsected and well known businessman from tijuana, one of the few that stayed in the region, was murdered driving in his car. he was the #1 employer in the tijuana/rosarito/ensenda/tecate region! go figure...

RIP Rafael Fimbres Hernández, condolences to his family...

and no mention of it in the latimes...???

Are these travel writers basically going to get spoon fed, as Mr. Thomas has been? Or will they actuallly do some reporting? The questions to ask are: Safe for whom? Safe where? Safe when? Who will they interview besides the mayor?

"Rosarito is Safe: How confident are tourism officials that this is true? So confident that they're hosting six travel writers from the U.S. during the last week of January."

There going to provide you with Military escorts and bullet proof vests...

Yeah, really safe.

The current situation in Mexico makes it totally unsafe to visit. The State Department has the same level travel alert for Mexico that it has for Gaza! This should be enough to keep you away. Even inside of beautiful resorts you should not feel protected. To read the tragic vacation stories written by family members that have had a loved on die while on vacation in Mexico visit: WWW.MEXICOVACATIONAWARENSS.COM



Hurray for Rosarito Mayor Hugo Torres.
There should be more like him to get the tourists and real estate buyers back to Baja Norte.


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Outposts' primary contributor is Kelly Burgess.