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Fox News, USA, March 10, 2009 (Transcript)

O'REILLY: "Factor follow-up" segment tonight, last week, I warned college kids that spring breaking in Mexico might be a dangerous deal because of the drug war down there and police corruption all over the country.

Well, we received tons of mail from south of the border. So we decided to take another look. Joining us now from Miami, Joakim Bamrud, editor in chief of the "Latin Business Chronicle website."

So you have a beef with me, Mr. Bamrud. What is that?

JOACHIM BAMRUD, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF OF THE LATIN BUSINESS CHRONICLE: That's right. Because basically the biggest danger that American spring breakers face when they go to Mexico is that they drink too much, not that they're going to encounter violent drug traffickers.

And so my criticism is that you urged all Americans to not travel anywhere in Mexico. And the fact is destinations like Cancun, Acapulco, Puerto Vallarta are perfectly safe.

O'REILLY: All right, No. 1 -- No. 1, I did not urge all Americans not to go there. I said I would not let my college kids go. OK, that's No. 1. Be accurate when you're putting words in my mouth.

No. 2, let's take Cancun, for example. You know what happened to the police chief in Cancun?

BAMRUD: Yes, yes.

O'REILLY: What happened? Why don't you tell our audience what happened to him?

BAMRUD: Yes, basically you have a situation where both in Cancun and a lot of places, you have had some incidents. However...

O'REILLY: Well, what happened to the police chief in Cancun, sir?

BAMRUD: I don't remember exactly all the details.

O'REILLY: OK, well, let me fill you in. Two weeks ago, he was removed from his position as the police chief by the federal government for allegedly covering up a murder. OK. That's the police chief of Cancun.

In Acapulco, another area you cite as being safe, six people have been found beheaded this year. Eight hundred homicides last year. Does this sound like a real safe place to you? Eight hundred homicides in the state of Guerrero where Acapulco is, six guys found on the side of the road beheaded? I don't think I want my daughter going down there, sir.

BAMRUD: No, I can see what you're saying.

O'REILLY: Thank you.

BAMRUD: But the fact is -- no, let's look at the statistics, Bill. Eighteen million Americans went to Mexico last year. Two million of them, more than two million went to Cancun. So we're talking statistics here. And the fact is that overall Cancun -- and I do repeat what I said, Cancun, Acapulco, Puerto Vallarta are generally safe.

O'REILLY: Look, Mr. Bamrud, here's the deal. I would -- I would go - - I have been to all of these places. I've been to everywhere in Mexico. I would go, OK? I'm not afraid to go. I would go.

But I'm going to send a 19-, 20-year-old who might be drinking and partying down there? You're in Miami. You're going to go to Miami or Fort Lauderdale or Daytona or somewhere in Florida, and they can do the same stupid stuff they can do in Mexico, and there aren't beheaded people on the side of the road. So let's be honest here.

If it's me, OK. If an American wants to have a nice vacation in Mexico, it's very reasonable down there now. The dollars to the peso is very good.

BAMRUD: Exactly.

O'REILLY: The Mayan Riviera is beautiful. I recommend it. But if you're going to send your teenager down there, you're nuts. You're crazy. That's not a place for them at this time in history. Go ahead.

BAMRUD: Well, right now, what has happened, we have tens of -- tens of thousands of spring breakers that have already gone, that have gone these last few months.

O'REILLY: And the parents are nuts.

BAMRUD: While the violence has happened, the images you've shown. And it's perfectly safe for them just as it will continue to be.

O'REILLY: I don't believe it -- I don't believe it for a second that it's perfectly safe for them. I think they are taking a risk. It's like going to Aruba. Am I going to send my kid to Aruba after what happened to the Holloway kid? No, I'm not.

BAMRUD: Well, that's another attempt -- that's one -- one teenager it happened to. Think of all the tourists that have gone to Aruba.

O'REILLY: But it's -- look, you've been to Mexico many times, right?

BAMRUD: Yes, absolutely.

O'REILLY: OK, what's the transshipment center point on the Pacific coast for Colombian cocaine? What city? Acapulco. That's where it comes through. So you're telling me that the transshipment point for cocaine coming from Colombia, all right, Acapulco is perfectly safe for my children to go party? I'm sorry. It isn't. That's dumb.

BAMRUD: OK, let's -- OK, let's go back to where I am, Miami. That used to be...

O'REILLY: Yes, it used to be a hell hole.

BAMRUD: A port of entry for drugs, coming from Columbia.

O'REILLY: Absolutely, and I wouldn't let my kids go there either.

BAMRUD: You wouldn't let your kids come to Miami?

O'REILLY: No, now it's OK, but it used to be bad. If my kid comes to me and says, "I want to spring break" in any dangerous part of the United States or the world, I'm saying no, because there are plenty of alternatives that you don't have to deal with that.

I'll give you the last word.

BAMRUD: Yes. I just feel that it's very irresponsible to be warning and generalizing because of some isolated incidents.

O'REILLY: I think I was very specific in this conversation, sir.

BAMRUD: We're hurting Mexico. We're hurting Americans, American companies, American airlines, American hotels operating in Mexico.

O'REILLY: I've got to tell the truth, Mr. Bamrud. I understand your point. But I've got to tell the truth, and I was very specific about things on this segment. But we really appreciate you coming on in. Thank you very much.

BAMRUD: Thank you very much.

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