Maldonado case could mean tourism black eye for Mexico - CBS 5 - KPHO

Maldonado case could mean tourism black eye for Mexico

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Karl Obergh and his son James Karl Obergh and his son James
PHOENIX (CBS5) -

With the international spotlight aimed squarely at the Yanira Maldonado case, it's no wonder some are calling for a ban on everything Mexican. #BoycottMexico is trending alongside #FreeYanira on Twitter.

Mesa's mayor, Scott Smith, even entered the dialogue.

"I love Mexico, which is why I hope it quickly fixes the absurd claim that a devout Mormon mother of 7 smuggled drugs. Bye bye tourists?" read his Twitter post.

"If the Mexican government doesn't act fairly soon, the long-term damage [that you alluded to] could be very real," explained Jason Rose, co-owner of the Scottsdale public relations company Rose, Moser and Allyn.

Rose said the Mexican government should admit their mistake, free Maldonado and ask for forgiveness.

"It can't just be a cliche 'I'm sorry.' It has to be a giant mea culpa," he said.

Then, Rose said it's time for the Mexican government to rebuild the trust.

"I would say, don't just continue the cliche tourism ads that we all see. Perhaps consider testimonials. People that were recently in the country and had a great time," he suggested.

The Oberghs are one of those families. They own a home in San Carlos and say they have never had a problem across the border, even though they've traveled there dozens of times.

"It's heartbreaking with something like this," said Karl Obergh.

"My heart goes out to the [Maldonado] family, but I'm sure it's going to get resolved," he continued.

Obergh said he fears this isolated but highly publicized situation means trouble for a country he considers his second home.

"It's going to be fine. I just wish people would see it's not just one bad apple that's destroying the bushel in this case," said Obergh.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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