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April 27, 2010

Mexico Is A Dangerous Place...First In An Occasional Series

Mexico's Ambassador to the United States announced today that his government issued a travel advisory to Mexicans saying they should avoid traveling to Arizona. It seems the Mexican government, despite its own stringent immigration laws, thinks expecting Mexicans in the US to follow US law is tantamount to harassment.

This got me thinking that perhaps we should focus on some of the dangers Americans face when traveling to Mexico. According to a warning issued by on April 12th, the US State Department, there are quite a few things much scarier than 'harassment' to worry about.

Recent violent attacks have prompted the U.S. Embassy to urge U.S. citizens to delay unnecessary travel to parts of Durango, Coahuila and Chihuahua states (see details below) and advise U.S. citizens residing or traveling in those areas to exercise extreme caution. Drug cartels and associated criminal elements have retaliated violently against individuals who speak out against them or whom they otherwise view as a threat to their organizations. These attacks include the abduction and murder of two resident U.S. citizens in Chihuahua.

...Criminals have followed and harassed U.S. citizens traveling in their vehicles in border areas including Nuevo Laredo, Matamoros, and Tijuana. Travelers on the highways between Monterrey and other parts of Mexico to the United States (notably through Nuevo Laredo and Matamoros) have been targeted for robbery and violence and have also inadvertently been caught in incidents of gunfire between criminals and Mexican law enforcement. Such incidents are more likely to occur at night but may occur at any time.

...In recent years, dozens of U.S. citizens living in Mexico have been kidnapped and most of their cases remain unsolved. U.S. citizens who believe they are being targeted for kidnapping or other crimes should notify Mexican law enforcement officials and the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City or the nearest U.S. consulate as soon as possible. Any U.S. visitor who suspects they are a target should consider returning to the United States immediately. U.S. citizens should be aware that many cases of violent crime are never resolved by Mexican law enforcement, and the U.S. government has no authority to investigate crimes committed in Mexico.

...During demonstrations or law enforcement operations, U.S. citizens are advised to remain in their homes or hotels, avoid large crowds, and avoid the downtown and surrounding areas. Since the timing and routes of scheduled marches and demonstrations are always subject to change, U.S. citizens should monitor local media sources for new developments and exercise extreme caution while within the vicinity of protests.

Wow, sounds like a nice country. If you are thinking of vacationing anytime soon, I'd stay away from a dangerous place like Mexico and consider...Arizona. Sedona is lovely.

As I said, this will be an occasional series. If you see any interesting stories about the dangers of Mexico, send them to me at Dangersinmexico at Gmail (dot) com.


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posted by DrewM. at 06:59 PM

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