LA PAZ, Mexico — As we headed out for a special day of snorkeling — sharing the water with a group of baby sea lions off Espiritu Santo Island in the southern portion of the Sea of Cortes — I thought about the headlines that keep some north-of-the-border residents from visiting Mexico.

The reports of crime in Mexico has slowed the flow of U.S. and Canadian residents to southern Baja and many other destinations south of the border, but it has not stopped the steady stream of Europeans, South Americans and Asians. Though much of the violence occurs in border towns, Mexico City has had major problems, as has the community of Culiacan, two hours north of Mazatlan. (Recent reports of swine flu in and around the capital have also slowed recent visitor traffic.)

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