The popular Tejano band "Intocable" gave a concert in Ciudad Juárez over the weekend ending a years-long absence in a city where drug violence has kept outsiders from visiting.
Fans cheered as the Latin Grammy award-winning group took to an outdoor stage Saturday night and opened with a love song.
Intocable is a six-man ensemble from the Texas border town of Zapata. In past years drug violence has kept them from touring Mexican border cities like Juárez.
"It's sad that we haven't been back in seven years," said lead singer Ricky Muñoz. "I mean I really wanted to come back again to Juárez."
A vicious drug war that played out in Juárez beginning in 2008 has largely subsided. Even so, college student Georgina Perez said it is difficult to get her friends to visit Juárez. Perez lives in neighboring El Paso, but prefers to spend weekends across the border.
"People think it's really bad the situation of violence," Perez said. "But in reality, everything is changed, everything is great. Tourism is coming back."
Homicides in Juárez decreased by more than 80 percent since 2010. Last year there were more than 400 murders, a figure still higher than the average before the outbreak of violence.
This year, Juárez tourism officials plan to open a satellite office in a popular Mexican imports store in El Paso hoping to draw more Americans.