Several thousand young Americans visit the bars in Tijuana, Mexico, each weekend night, raising concerns on both sides of the border. Measures implemented in San Diego, California, and Tijuana have successfully reduced the number of American visitors to Mexican bars. Although San Diego policies have been well-documented, this is the first article on investigation of measures enacted south of the border. Information on Tijuana alcohol policies was obtained from a survey of 29–36 bars from 1997 to 1999. The Tijuana police provided data on Americans arrested in Tijuana from 1998 to 1999. Our study found alcohol regulations are poorly enforced in Tijuana, suggesting that regulatory agencies are captured by bar owners. However, such a capture may be weakening. The importance of identifying and supporting Mexican interest groups, as opposed to the bar owners, as a mechanism to impede the capture of Tijuana's regulatory agencies is discussed. The number of Americans involved in alcohol-related crimes in Tijuana sharply decreased over time. However, such a success is largely related to the success of the San Diego efforts in reducing the number of American visitors to Tijuana. Also, by demonstrating the racial/ethnic heterogeneity of American visitors to Tijuana bars, our study points out the need for prevention policies designed north of the border to take such heterogeneity into account.
Prevention Science – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 18, 2004
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