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State Department Advises Americans Not to Travel to Parts of Mexico Due to Increased Risk of Kidnappings, Crime

U.S. customs officers speak with a man at the San Ysidro Port of Entry on Monday, Nov. 8, 2021, in Tijuana, Mexico. Gregory Bull / AP

The U.S. Department of State issued a travel advisory warning Americans not to travel to some areas of Mexico due to increased risk of crime and kidnappings. It also warned that the U.S. government won’t be able to help Americans if they become victims of crime while traveling there.

“Violent crime – such as homicide, kidnapping, carjacking, and robbery – is widespread and common in Mexico,” the advisory states. “The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in many areas of Mexico.”

It also states that U.S. government employees are prohibited and/or restricted from traveling to certain areas in Mexico because many emergency services are limited. If they are already in certain Mexican states, they’re prohibited from traveling to cities after dark and from hailing taxis on the street. They are only allowed to use dispatched vehicles, including app-based services like Uber, and regulated taxi stands. They are also advised to not travel alone, especially in remote areas.

U.S. government employees are also prohibited from driving from the U.S.-Mexico border to or from the interior parts of Mexico, the advisory states. The exception is daytime travel in Baja California and between Nogales and Hermosillo on Mexican Federal Highway 15D, and between Nuevo Laredo and Monterrey on Highway 85D.

All Americans are advised to follow the same travel restrictions as U.S. government employees.

Americans are warned not to travel to:

  • Colima state due to crime and kidnapping.
  • Guerrero state due to crime.
  • Michoacan state due to crime and kidnapping.
  • Sinaloa state due to crime and kidnapping
  • Tamaulipas state due to crime and kidnapping.
  • Zacatecas state due to crime and kidnapping.
  • Americans are warned to reconsider traveling to:
  • Baja California state due to crime and kidnapping.
  • Chihuahua state due to crime and kidnapping.
  • Durango state due to crime.
  • Guanajuato state due to crime and kidnapping.
  • Jalisco state due to crime and kidnapping.
  • Morelos state due to crime.
  • Sonora state due to crime and kidnapping.

Americans are encouraged to exercise increased caution when traveling to:

  • Aguascalientes state due to crime.
  • Baja California Sur state due to crime.
  • Chiapas state due to crime.
  • Coahuila state due to crime.
  • Hidalgo state due to crime.
  • Mexico City due to crime.
  • Mexico State due to crime.
  • Nayarit state due to crime.
  • Nuevo Leon state due to crime and kidnapping.
  • Oaxaca state due to crime.
  • Puebla state due to crime and kidnapping.
  • Queretaro state due to crime.
  • Quintana Roo state due to crime and kidnapping.
  • San Luis Potosi state due to crime and kidnapping.
  • Tabasco state due to crime.
  • Tlaxcala state due to crime.
  • Veracruz state due to crime.

Americans are encouraged to exercise normal precautions when traveling to the states of Campeche and Yucatan.

The advisory was issued after the U.S. Consulate in Tijuana, Mexico, instructed its employees “to shelter in place until further notice” after violence erupted on the streets Friday, Aug. 12. The Californian city of Mexicali and Tijuana, the Mexican border city just south of San Diego, California, as well as Rosarito and Ensenada are also experiencing increased cartel-related gang violence.

The U.S. Consulate General in Tijuana issued a statement saying it was “aware of reports of multiple vehicle fires, roadblocks and heavy police activity in Tijuana, Mexicali, Rosarito, Ensenada, and Tecate.”

Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, across from El Paso, Texas, is also experiencing increased cartel violence. Its president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, issued a statement about increased violence saying cartel and gang members had “attacked the civilian, innocent population like a sort of revenge. It wasn’t just a clash between two groups, but it got to the point where they began to shoot civilians, innocent people. That is the most unfortunate thing in this affair.”

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