I Wish I Was in Tijuana…


California State University recently canceled programs that San Diego State University had across the border in Tijuana, citing drug violence in the city. This new policy seems inappropriate and harsh to students, who now won’t be able to get drunk really cheaply conduct various education and research programs. According to an article by Richard Marosi in the Los Angeles Times:

But studies south of the border are on hold after California State University administrators prohibited all university-sponsored activities in this sprawling city. Drug war violence, they say, poses a threat to visitors. Many students think the only thing threatened now is their education.

“This ban is devastating.… It puts an end to my research here,” said Alaina Gallegos, 29, a student of Latin American studies and public health.

Students, and some faculty, say the new policy is unfair and based on a misunderstanding of the city 22 miles south of campus. It’s probably worth pointing out that Tijuana actually is a a hell hole and drug violence in Tijuana is a horrible problem. Certainly Tijuana is much more dangerous now than it was, say, a decade ago.

But the students have a point: a specific ban on travel and study in the city seems odd now; the worst drug violence occurred in 2008 and 2009.

Cal State shut down cross-border classes when the Department of State issued a travel warning on May 6, explaining that “U.S. citizens are urged to exercise extreme caution when traveling throughout the region, particularly in those areas specifically mentioned in this Travel Warning.” Those specific areas included Tijuana, Nogales, Ciudad Juarez, Nuevo Laredo, Monterrey and Matamoros.

As the Marosi article points out, however, the travel warming seemed to come in response to a shooting in Ciudad Juarez. Ciudad Juarez is some 700 miles away from Tijuana, across the border from El Paso, Texas. [Image via]

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Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer