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Adela Navarro, the editor of the muckraking Tijuana weekly Zeta, said during a talk in San Diego on Tuesday that despite a recent uptick in violence in Tijuana, the city is safe to visit.
Navarro, currently a fellow at the University of Californa San Diego's Center on Emerging and Pacific Economies, gave a lecture entitled "Mexico Between Politics and Organized Crime" at the Great Hall
She said she thought that a deal between traffickers that she said ended a major orgy of violence in Tijuana from 2007-2010 was coming unglued. However, Tijuana Mayor Carlos Bustamante said Monday that this year's increase in violence is unlike 2007, and involves localized conflicts between local drug peddlers rather than a large confrontation between major traffickers fighting over who gets to use Tijuana as a staging point to move drugs into the United States.
Navarro said Tijuana is safe for U.S. tourists to visit, as the local drug peddlers are shooting each other (generally far away from tourist areas) and not bystanders.
Navarro lamented that the new government of President Enrique Peña Nieto was making it much more difficult for the media to gather crime statistics.
Navarro has been recognized internationally for her work, having received the 2007 International Press Freedom Award from the Committee to Protect Journalists and the 2011 Courage in Journalism Award from the International Women's Media Foundation. When in Mexico, she is often protected by bodyguards provided by the government because of death theats; on Tuesday, she said she was happy not to have to be protected while in the United States.
Among a large crowd attending the talk was David Shirk, until recently the director of the University of San Diego's Trans-Border Institute.