Marines Warned Tijuana Too Dangerous for R&R

Drug war prompts new rules to stop marines heading south of the border
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 22, 2009 3:02 AM CST
A dead man is wheeled away by a forensic crew after a shooting inside a liquor store two block from the US Consulate in Tijuana, Mexico, late last year.   (AP Photo/Guillermo Arias)
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(Newser) – The US military has warned their battle-hardened Marines that Tijuana is too dangerous a place for them to visit, USA Today reports. A surge in Mexican drug violence has resulted in military orders effectively placing the popular party town off limits to 44,000 leathernecks—including many who have done tours of duty in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Marines based at southern California's Camp Pendleton planning to go to Tijuana—or anywhere else in Mexico—must now get permission from top brass, travel with a buddy, and take an anti-terrorism training course. "The situation in Mexico is now more dangerous than usual," said a military spokesman. "The intent is to look out for the Marines' safety and well-being."