Business Owners in Rocky Point, Mexico, React to Travel Warning

April 29, 2011

PUERTO PEÑASCO, SONORA – Don't bother asking Rafael Noriega if the State Department's caution about this border beach town is fair.

He's had to adapt his business to deal with the loss of American dollars. He changed his restaurant from the swank Portofino's to No Solo Agua. Now he caters to the Mexican tourist.

"They have rights if they're talking about Cd. Juarez or Tijuana. But no Puerto Peñasco," he says. "Puerto Peñasco is a quiet, peaceful place."

For the first time, the warning pinpointed Rocky Point. Fear and a bad economy drove away American tourists in past years. This travel warning hasn't helped. Few visitors can be found on the streets.

Despite the complaints the warnings appear to be necessary.

Some of Mexico's violence can be seen on the streets. Yesterday, the Mexican Army chased a white SUV through town. A soldier shot the driver and other soldiers drove a reporter away from the crime scene.