U.S. Department of State issues Travel Warning to U.S. Citizens in Mexico
by Bryan Catalano, staff assistant at Beach-Oswald Immigration Law Associates
There has been an urgent Travel Warning released by the U.S. Department of State to those living, working, and traveling in Mexico regarding the state of security and heightened travel risk. Mexico has had an increase in violent crime, especially in northern border cities that are prone to drug-related organizations and organized crime. These cities include but are not limited to Tijuana, Nogales, Nuevo Laredo, and Monterrey among others. While tourist destinations are more efficiently protected by the Mexican government, it is being advised that all U.S. citizens be forewarned of impending dangers that may lie in more remote cities and villages. According to a report published on September 10th, 2010, there have been approximately 22,700 people killed as a result of drug related violence in Mexico. While those people involved in Mexican drug rings comprise the majority of these numbers, there have been numerous innocent deaths.
A primary concern of the U.S. government is the city of Monterrey, which has had a significant increase in violence, including areas which are close to schools that are host to many U.S. citizen children. The State Department has warned that the threat of kidnapping and violent firefights has escalated to the point that the most effective way to protect U.S. citizen children in this region is to remove them from the city completely.
The violence along the entirety of the Northern border of Mexico has also led the State Department to urge travelers to limit the amount of time spent on many highways along this corridor, as there have been multiple instances in which travelers have been harassed, caught in drug trafficking related firefights, and fallen victim to carjackings.
While the violence seems to lie heavily in the northern regions of Mexico, the State Department has also warned of violence in more popular areas, including the resort town of Acapulco.
The State Department recommends that any U.S. Citizen who feels that they have become a target of the escalating violence in Mexico should head to the nearest U.S. consulate as soon as possible. Furthermore, the safest way to avoid becoming a victim is to return to the United States at the first sign of violence. The United States has no jurisdiction in Mexico, and thus any investigation into violent crimes towards a U.S. Citizen would be impossible to investigate.
Other recommendations include staying to main roads during daylight hours, staying within cell phone ranges, dressing modestly and refraining from displaying wealth on one’s body (i.e. jewelry), and to only use taxis that are from an organized taxi stand.
For any further information on the escalating violence in Mexico please visit the State Department’s official report at http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/tw/tw_4755.html
For inquiries regarding YOUR ability to travel in Mexico and elsewhere throughout the world, please feel free to contact Beach-Oswald Immigration Law Associates, www.boilapc.com