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U.S. State Dept. Issues “Travel Warning” for Mexico

March 15, 2010 | Posted in: News,Travel Safety,Travel Tips

u.s. state dept travel warning mexico

The U.S. government rightly points out that millions of U.S. citizens visit Mexico every year with absolutely no problems.

However – violence in the country has increased.

Over the weekend, 13 people were killed in and around the resort area of Acapulco – including five police officers – and as the Los Angeles Times reports, three people connected with the U.S. embassy in Ciudad Juarez were “killed in broad daylight near the city’s border with El Paso.”

The State Department has now issued a travel warning due to “security concerns” in Mexico:

“Some recent confrontations between Mexican authorities and drug cartel members have resembled small-unit combat, with cartels employing automatic weapons and grenades.  Large firefights have taken place in towns and cities across Mexico, but occur mostly in northern Mexico, including Ciudad Juarez, Tijuana, Chihuahua City, Nogales, Matamoros, Reynosa and Monterrey.” - U.S. State Dept. website, 3-14-10

Read more about this here – and for the kids I suggest the State’s Dept.’s publication, “Spring Break in Mexico – Know Before You Go”. For travel alerts on other countries and more, go to travel.state.gov.

21 Responses to “U.S. State Dept. Issues “Travel Warning” for Mexico”

  1. Jeanne says:

    We are traveling to El Paso this May 2010. I have been told this is not a city to roam around in.

  2. Stephanie says:

    People heading to places like Acapulco should maybe reconsider their plans. Or if you are set on going anyway be extremely careful because that’s a lot of deaths near the resorts. Wow.

  3. Rick Seaney says:

    Stephanie,

    And of course, it pays to be cautious and use your common sense, no matter where you are – and that includes your own hometown in the U.S.

    Thanks for writing,
    Rick

  4. steve says:

    If the US would just ‘legalize it’, this stuff wouldn’t be a concern !!

  5. Dee says:

    I am leaving on May 14th for a 3 day cruise with a stop in Ensenada. I am wondering now if I should just stay on the cruise ship!? :( Bummers!

  6. Rick Seaney says:

    Dee,

    Check and see what the State Dept. has to say about Ensenada, at travel.state.gov.

    Regards,
    Rick

  7. Stefan says:

    Sure, especially Ciudad Juárez ist a dangerous place, but you shouldn’t worry if you are travelling to more “touristic” places like Ensenada for example. I am living in Mexico (near Mexico City) since three years and I never had any problems when I was travelling around in the country (and I did that a lot).
    “Don’t Panic!”
    Regards,
    Stefan (from Germany)

  8. Steve-O says:

    I really hope this gets resolved and doesn’t spread! We are due in Los Cabos in less then a month on a business incentive trip. Funny thing our company just released a statement that all Mexico business travel is now prohibited unless approved by the group V.P.

    As well, we are due in PV, Mazatlan and Los Cabos in November. Eeeks.

    Steve

  9. Rick Seaney says:

    Stefan,

    Thanks for the personal perspective.

    Regards,
    Rick

  10. Rick Seaney says:

    Steve-O,

    Interesting about the “prohibited business travel” – has anyone else received similar memos at work?

    Best,
    Rick

  11. YOLANDA AGUILAR says:

    I RETIRED TO MEXICO 7 YEARS AGO. I LIVE IN GUADALAJARA AND TRAVEL EXTENSIVELY TO CITIES LIKE PUERTO VALLARTA, LOS CABOS, ACAPULCO, CANCUN, MEXICO CITY AND SMALLER PLACES IN THE STATES OF MICHOACAN AND GUANAJUATO. I HAVE NEVER HAD ANY PROBLEMS. OBVIOUSLY, ONE SHOULD PRACTICE CAUTION, LIKE IN ANY PLACE IN THE WORLD. IF YOU VISIT TOURIST PLACES, YOU SHOULDN’T HAVE ANY PROBLEMS. NOW, DON’T DRINK TO THE POINT YOU DON’T KNOW WHERE YOU ARE, AND THIS GOES EVEN FOR YOUR HOMETOWN! REGARDS AND ENJOY YOUR VACATION!

  12. Denise says:

    We are Canadians living & working full time in Los Cabos. The violence in the border towns is worlds away from here. Without a doubt, we feel completely safe in this area. It’s extremely unfortunate that the whole country is painted with the same brush.

  13. Rick Seaney says:

    Yolanda,

    Good advice.

    Thanks,
    Rick

  14. Rick Seaney says:

    Denise,

    Thanks for the personal observations – and thanks for writing.

    Regards,
    Rick

  15. Lorrie says:

    COME ON PEOPLE!!!!! LET’S GET SOME PERSPECTIVE HERE! If the American government is so concerned about the safety of its citizens, it should be issuing alerts about almost ALL of its own major cities and for that matter, lots of small towns too. SHEESH. Doesn’t anybody THINK for themselves??? I, as a single woman, feel safer living, walking (in the dark!!!!) and driving almost anywhere in Mexico than I ever do when in the U.S.! Of course, there is crime in Mexico, but when one remembers it is almost always drug related or in the border towns, and if anyone had any real and personal experience of most other areas within Mexico, one would only be struck with how genuinely gentle and sweet-natured and generous the majority of the Mexican population is. Of course, there are banditos here, but banditos are everywhere, and unless you’re going to remain home in your bed, you’re going to take some chances in life.

    Lastly, I have driven fm Canada to Mexico several times and I try to arrive at the border early in the day and just keep heading straight south. And the most remarkable thing has been: Everybody I saw in those border towns WAS ALIVE! Imagine that!

  16. Rick Seaney says:

    Lorrie,

    Travelers have to use their common sense and everyday precautions no matter where they go.

    Regards,
    Rick

  17. Jack says:

    I live in Texas, and I have traveled to Mexico a LOT. I think it’s a wonderful country, with great people, music, culture, art, and food. Many of the cities around Mexico have lots of beautiful historic buildings. And, many of the coastal areas (on both the Caribbean and Pacific sides) feature some of the most awesome beaches in the world.

    However, I must say that Mexico is really two worlds: the world along the border towns, and the world in the interior of the country.

    The border towns are very, very dangerous. Tijuana, just across the California border, used to be a great place to go for the weekend, if you were visiting San Diego. But it has become so dangerous that the soldiers at the military bases in San Diego were recently ordered not to go to Tijuana any more.

    Juarez, just across the boarder from El Paso, Texas, is one of the most dangerous cities in the entire world right now. I used to drive to various boarder towns, now and then, but not any more. The violence between the Mexican drugdealers and police, and between the drugdealers and each other, is spilling over into the streets, mostly in the boarder towns. And MANY, MANY innocent people are being killed in the crossfire, often right in broad daylight.

    In my personal opinion, the only real way to deal with these thugs (especially in Juarez) is to go in with SWAT teams and military units and just kill them. Deal with them like you would a roach infestation. Wipe out the nests.

    The interior of Mexico, especially in the areas where tourists travel a lot, is much safer than the boarder towns. And, most of the people look out for you in the tourist areas, since they want you to keep coming back. However, these recent killings in Acapulco are quite disturbing, since that’s long been a major tourist area.

    My advice: As for the boarder towns, just STAY AWAY, for now. As for the interior areas of Mexico, especially the popular tourist areas, go and enjoy yourself, but be careful. And, as you should do ANYWHERE, including right here in the good ol’ USA, be aware of your surroundings, and look over your shoulder while you’re out there having fun.

    Adios.

    Jack

  18. Rick Seaney says:

    Jack,

    This is clearly a story that has struck a chord with a lot of folks. Thanks for your perspective.

    Rick

  19. Dee says:

    Stefan, Yolanda, Denise, and Jack,

    Thank you for your comments! I am not in panic mode by any degree but its good to hear the personal perspectives from people who are living in the area! Sounds like we have nothing to “worry” about when we cruise to Ensenda in May. We will however do what we always do when we travel which is “use our common sense and everyday precautions.”

    Thanks Rick!

  20. Rick Seaney says:

    Dee,

    I’m sure you’ll have a great time. Let us know, okay?

    Regards,
    Rick

  21. Dee says:

    Absolutley!

    Dee

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