||Latest 2011 Mexico travel warnings: http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/tw/tw_5440.html
Tips for Travelers
If you are considering crossing the border into Mexico you may want to check out the State Department's Travel alert for Mexican side of the US / Mexico border. As of June 1, 2009 people returning to the U.S. from Mexico will need more than a birth certificate or driver's license to re-enter the country quickly. The new rule calls for presentation of one of six forms of ID. The six documents accepted are the U.S. passport, passport card, an enhanced driver’s license (which is only currently issued by Washington and New York states) or one of the “trusted traveler” cards SENTRI, NEXUS or FAST. Citizens without one of these documents will be routed to a secondary inspection area, where they will have to wait while customs employees verify their citizenship.
On Saturday, March 13, 2010 a U.S. Consulate employee, her husband and another person were shot to death near the international bridge linking Ciudad Juarez with El Paso. These shootings prompted the following travel warning and departure bulletin from the US Department of State.
March 14, 2010
The Department of State has issued this Travel Warning to inform U.S. citizens traveling to and living in Mexico of concerns about the security situation in Mexico, and that it has authorized the departure of the dependents of U.S. government personnel from U.S. consulates in the Northern Mexican border cities of Tijuana, Nogales, Ciudad Juarez, Nuevo Laredo, Monterrey and Matamoros until April 12. Family members of US Government personnel assigned to other areas of Mexico outside the Mexican border states are not affected by this departure measure. This Travel Warning supercedes that of February 22, 2010, and announces the authorized departure of some dependents and updates security incidents.
Violence in Northern Mexico
U.S. citizens are urged to be especially aware of safety and security concerns when visiting the border region.
The U.S. State Department has issued a warning to alert U.S. citizens to the continuing unsettled public security situation along the Mexican side of the U.S.-Mexico border.
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Violence Along the U.S.-Mexico Border
Violent criminal activity fueled by a war between criminal organizations struggling for control of the lucrative narcotics trade continues along the U.S.-Mexico border. Attacks are aimed primarily at members of drug trafficking organizations, Mexican police forces, criminal justice officials, and journalists. However, foreign visitors and residents, including Americans, have been among the victims of homicides and kidnappings in the border region. In its effort to combat violence, the government of Mexico has deployed military troops in various parts of the country. U.S. citizens are urged to cooperate with official checkpoints when traveling on Mexican highways.
Recent Mexican army and police force conflicts with heavily-armed narcotics cartels have escalated to levels equivalent to military small-unit combat and have included use of machine guns and fragmentation grenades. Confrontations have taken place in numerous towns and cities in northern Mexico, including Tijuana in the Mexican state of Baja California, and Chihuahua City and Ciudad Juarez in the state of Chihuahua. The situation in northern Mexico remains very fluid; the location and timing of future armed engagements there cannot be predicted.
Armed robberies and carjackings, apparently unconnected to the narcotics-related violence, have increased in Tijuana and Ciudad Juarez. Dozens of U.S. citizens were kidnapped and/or murdered in Tijuana in 2007. Public shootouts have occurred during daylight hours near shopping areas.
Criminals are armed with a wide array of sophisticated weapons. In some cases, assailants have worn full or partial police or military uniforms and have used vehicles that resemble police vehicles.
U.S. citizens are urged to be especially alert to safety and security concerns when visiting the border region. While Mexican citizens overwhelmingly are the victims of these crimes, this uncertain security situation poses risks for U.S. citizens as well. Thousands of U.S. citizens cross the border safely each day, exercising common-sense precautions such as visiting only legitimate business and tourist areas of border towns during daylight hours. It is strongly recommended that travelers avoid areas where prostitution and drug dealing occur.
Criminals have followed and harassed U.S. citizens traveling in their vehicles, particularly in border areas including Nuevo Laredo, Matamoros, and Tijuana. There is no evidence, however, that U.S. citizens are targeted because of their nationality.
U.S. citizen victims of crime in Mexico are urged to contact the consular section of the nearest U.S. consulate or Embassy for advice and assistance.
Crime and Violence in Mexico
U.S. citizens residing and traveling in Mexico should exercise caution when in unfamiliar areas and be aware of their surroundings at all times. Violence by criminal elements affects many parts of the country, urban and rural, including border areas. Though there is no evidence that U.S. citizens are specifically targeted, Mexican and foreign bystanders have been injured or killed in some violent attacks, demonstrating the heightened risk in public places. In recent years, dozens of U.S. citizens have been kidnapped in Mexico and many cases remain unresolved. Moreover, new cases of disappearances and kidnap-for-ransom continue to be reported. No one can be considered immune from kidnapping on the basis of occupation, nationality, or other factors. U.S. citizens who believe they are being followed should notify Mexican officials as soon as possible. U.S. citizens should make every attempt to travel on main roads during daylight hours, particularly the toll roads, which are generally more secure. It is preferable for U.S. citizens to stay in well-known tourist destinations and tourist areas of the cities with more adequate security, and provide an itinerary to a friend or family member not traveling with them. U.S. citizens should avoid traveling alone as a means to better ensure their safety. Refrain from displaying expensive-looking jewelry, large amounts of money, or other valuable items.
Demonstrations occur frequently throughout Mexico and usually are peaceful. However, even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence unexpectedly. Some deaths occurred during violent demonstrations, including an American citizen who died in the 2006 violence in Oaxaca. 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. The Mexican Constitution prohibits political activities by foreigners, and such actions may result in detention and/or deportation. Therefore, U.S. citizens are advised to avoid participating in demonstrations or other activities that might be deemed political by Mexican authorities.
For more detailed information on staying safe in Mexico, please see the Mexico Country Specific Information at: http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_970.html. For the latest security information, U.S. citizens traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department's internet web site at http://travel.state.gov where the current Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, and Travel Alerts can be found. Up-to-date information on security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the United States, or, for callers from Mexico, a regular toll line at 001-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays). American citizens traveling or residing overseas are encouraged to register with the appropriate U.S. Embassy or Consulate on the State Department's travel registration website at https://travelregistration.state.gov/.
For any emergencies involving U.S. citizens in Mexico, please contact the closest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. The U.S. Embassy is located in Mexico City at Paseo de la Reforma 305, Colonia Cuauhtemoc, telephone from the United States: 011-52-55-5080-2000; telephone within Mexico City: 5080-2000; telephone long distance within Mexico 01-55-5080-2000. You may also contact the Embassy by e-mail at: email@example.com. The Embassy's internet address is http://www.usembassy-mexico.gov/.
Ciudad Juarez: Avenida Lopez Mateos 924-n, telephone (52)(656) 611-3000.
Guadalajara: Progreso 175, telephone (52)(333) 268-2100.
Hermosillo: Avenida Monterrey 141, telephone (52)(662) 289-3500.
Matamoros: Avenida Primera 2002, telephone (52)(868) 812-4402.
Merida: Calle 60 no. 338 k, telephone (52)(999) 942-5700
Monterrey: Avenida Constitucion 411 Poniente, telephone (52)(818) 345-2120.
Nogales: Calle San Jose, Nogales, Sonora, telephone (52)(631) 311-8150.
Nuevo Laredo: Calle Allende 3330, col. Jardin, telephone (52)(867) 714-0512.
Tijuana: Tapachula 96, telephone (52)(664) 622-7400.
Acapulco: Hotel Continental Emporio, Costera Miguel Aleman 121 - local 14, telephone (52)(744) 484-0300 or (52)(744) 469-0556.
Cabo San Lucas: Blvd. Marina local c-4, Plaza Nautica, col. Centro, telephone (52)(624) 143-3566.
Cancún: Plaza Caracol two, second level, no. 320-323, Boulevard Kukulcan, km. 8.5, Zona Hotelera, telephone (52)(998) 883-0272.
Ciudad Acuña: Ocampo # 305, col. Centro, telephone (52)(877) 772-8661
Cozumel: Plaza Villa Mar en el Centro, Plaza Principal, (Parque Juárez between Melgar and 5th ave.) 2nd floor, locales #8 and 9, telephone (52)(987) 872-4574.
Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo: Hotel Fontan, Blvd. Ixtapa, telephone (52)(755) 553-2100.
Mazatlán: Hotel Playa Mazatlán, Playa Gaviotas #202, Zona Dorada, telephone (52)(669) 916-5889.
Oaxaca: Macedonio Alcalá no. 407, interior 20, telephone (52)(951) 514-3054 (52)(951) 516-2853.
Piedras Negras: Abasolo #211, Zona Centro, Piedras Negras, Coah., Tel. (878) 782-5586.
Playa del Carmen: “The Palapa,” Calle 1 Sur, between Avenida 15 and Avenida 20, telephone (52)(984) 873-0303.
Puerto Vallarta: Paradise Plaza, Paseo de los Cocoteros #1, Local #4, Interior #17, Nuevo Vallarta, Nayarit, telephone (52)(322) 222-0069.
Reynosa: Calle Monterrey #390, Esq. Sinaloa, Colonia Rodríguez, telephone: (52)(899) 923 - 9331
San Luis Potosí: Edificio "Las Terrazas", Avenida Venustiano Carranza 2076-41, Col. Polanco, telephone: (52)(444) 811-7802/7803.
San Miguel de Allende: Dr. Hernandez Macias #72, telephone (52)(415) 152-2357 or (52)(415) 152-0068.