A few things before tomorrow’s Café:

Mexico’s escalating drug war has proved especially brutal in and around Tijuana. Earlier this month, The New York Times reported in this story that the number of killings in Mexico linked to drug trafficking has more than doubled in the past year. The numbers — there were 170 murders in Tijuana in November alone — are unsettling.

By extension, Tijuana’s once-thriving tourism industry has effectively peaced out. The midday gun battles and footage of soldiers patrolling the streets with automatic weapons aren’t really vacation fodder. Serge Dedina, who hosted Café on this topic in November, said he counted just six tourists total on one recent daytrip through three Baja cities.

Our host today, Kenn Morris, wants to change that. Morris is the president/CEO of Crossborder Group Inc., a San Diego-based U.S.-Mexico and border market research firm now working with the Tijuana Tourism Bureau. He contacted us after Dedina hosted, saying this:

We’ve been tracking some of the security issues and statistics — and really were surprised at how even Tijuana’s current situation is not as bad as in some U.S. cities.

I can’t wait to find out which ones. Stay tuned.

— RACHEL WILLIAMS

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