Bowlers competing in the USBC Women's Championships in the Texas border city of El Paso are being urged to stay on the U.S. side, and not venture into Juarez, Mexico.
That town has been beset by violence, mostly connected to Mexico's drug gangs. Last month, three people with ties to the U.S. Consulate in Juarez were killed.
While the violence has been restricted almost exclusively to the Mexico side of the border, U.S. government officials have called for more law enforcement and U.S. troops in the region to keep it that way.
Some have blamed the violence in Juarez for the big drop in entries for this year's tournament. Others point to America's economic downturn, the worst since the Depression, and some speculate that the switch to an all-handicap format kept some bowlers from entering.
The El Paso Convention and Visitors Bureau, while advising bowlers to stay on the U.S. side of the border, says the most popular attractions among tournament bowlers thus far have been the Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino, along with various downtown museums and malls.
The tournament runs through July 3.