Plaza Santa Cecilia
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Drop in tourism

It’s another slow day at Plaza Santa Cecilia, the gateway to Tijuana’s tourist district. Juan Manuel Monsivais, left, and Telesforo Magana wait for passers-by to hire their mariachi band. Tourism in the city is down 90% since 2005. (Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times)
Merchants say the collapse in tourism is especially distressing because recent beautification projects and police crackdowns have left the Avenida Revolucion area the safest and most attractive it’s been in years. (Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times)
These days tourists are likely to see convoys of police along with the mariachi bands on Avenida Revolucion, a sign of the violence-plagued times in Tijuana. (Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times)
Jose Belaza, owner of Señor Maguey’s, dozes off while waiting for customers at the restaurant. By 1p.m. on this Friday, he had seated people at just two tables. He said of the violence keeping tourists away: “We deserve this. The police are terrible. All of them are corrupt. No one escapes it. We don’t want it but have to accept it as the truth.” (Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times)
Valentin Gomez Lopez hawks jewelry to Harold and Diane Stadtler. The tourists from St. Paul, Minn., said the opening price was $100. They eventually purchased a bracelet for $6. (Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times)
Chris Morrow snaps a photo as his buddy Cameron Smith gets a gulp of tequila at the Iguanas-Ranas bar. The Australians weren’t concerned about the rumors they’d heard about violence in the border town. (Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times)
A street vendor carries a small table of merchandise along Avenida Revolucion. (Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times)
A sign welcoming tourists to Tijuana spans Avenida Revolucion. On an average day, only about 150 people now visit the once-thronged boulevard. (Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times)
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