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"She was extremely well liked by her co-workers. It's been a very difficult time," says Ben Drew with the Palo Alto Medical Foundation.
Extra grief counselors are on hand at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation to help employees deal with the loss of their co-worker. Lourdes Rodriguez, 33, who was murdered in Mexico City over the July Fourth weekend.
"She worked in a variety of departments as people had vacations or maternity leaves, so she touched a lot of different people and a lot of lives," says Drew.
Rodriguez's husband says she went to Mexico to visit his family and that he stayed behind with the couple's 11-year-old daughter. He says police told him she was found strangled in her rental car and her cash and credit cards were gone.
Another Bay Area resident was also killed in Mexico this year. Tim Connor of San Carlos was stabbed to death when a man broke into his timeshare and attacked him.
The U.S. State Department issued a travel advisory for Mexico in February stating: "Violence in the country has increased recently. It is imperative that travelers understand the risks of travel to Mexico."
"Travel to Mexico right now, at least through my office, is down," says Janice Bologlu with North Star Travel. She says the increase in crime is scaring people away from Mexico, but she's thinking of retiring there. She says bad things can happen anywhere. "I've been going to Mexico for years and years and years and I've never had any problems except from drunken American tourists."
The U.S. State Department's travel advisory for Mexico is in place until August 20, 2009.
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