An official has barred Marines from visiting Tijuana as the California border town's drug violence soars.
Lt. Gen. Samuel Helland of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp Pendleton has restricted travel to Mexico for the unit's 44,000 members, USA Today reports.
"The situation in Mexico is now more dangerous than usual," Mike Alvarez, the unit's civilian public information officer, told the paper. "The intent is just to look out for the Marines' safety and well-being."
Last year, 843 people were killed in Tijuana, up dramatically from its 2007 death toll of 337. Many of the murders were execution-style and the bodies were found decapitated, the paper said.
The Marines said the order was first put in place for the Christmas holidays. USA Today said the order was extended indefinitely last week.