NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF FORMER BORDER PATROL OFFICERS INC.
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Mexico Travel Warning Last updated: January 9, 2014
The U.S. Department of State warns U.S. citizens about the risk of traveling in Mexico due to threats to safety and security posed by Transnational Criminal Organizations (TCOs) in the country. U.S. citizens have been the target of violent crimes, such as kidnapping, carjacking, and robbery by TCOs in various Mexican states. For information on security conditions in specific regions of Mexico, which can vary, travelers should reference the state-by-state assessments further below.
This Travel Warning replaces the Travel Warning for Mexico, issued July 12, 2013, to update information about the security situation and to advise the public of additional restrictions on the travel of U.S. government (USG) personnel.
Millions of U.S. citizens safely visit Mexico each year for study, tourism, and business, including more than 150,000 who cross the border every day. The Mexican government dedicates substantial resources to protect visitors to major tourist destinations, and there is no evidence that Transnational Criminal Organizations (TCOs) have targeted U.S. visitors or residents based on their nationality. Resort areas and tourist destinations in Mexico generally do not see the levels of drug-related violence and crime that are reported in the border region or in areas along major trafficking routes.
Nevertheless, U.S. travelers should be aware that the Mexican government has been engaged in an extensive effort to counter TCOs which engage in narcotics trafficking and other unlawful activities throughout Mexico. The TCOs themselves are engaged in a violent struggle to control drug trafficking routes and other criminal activity. Crime and violence are serious problems and can occur anywhere. U.S. citizens have fallen victim to criminal activity, including homicide, gun battles, kidnapping, carjacking and highway robbery. While most of those killed in narcotics-related violence have been members of TCOs, innocent persons have also been killed. The number of U.S. citizens reported to the Department of State as murdered in Mexico was 71 in 2012 and 81 in 2013.
Gun battles between rival TCOs or with Mexican authorities have taken place in towns and cities in many parts of Mexico, especially in the border region. Gun battles have occurred in broad daylight on streets and in other public venues, such as restaurants and clubs. During some of these incidents, U.S. citizens have been trapped and temporarily prevented from leaving the area. TCOs have used stolen cars, buses and trucks to create roadblocks on major thoroughfares, preventing the military and police from responding to criminal activity. The location and timing of future armed engagements is unpredictable. We recommend that you defer travel to the areas indicated in this Travel Warning and exercise extreme caution when traveling throughout the northern border region.
The number of kidnappings throughout Mexico is of particular concern and appears to be on the rise. According to statistics published by the Mexican Secretaria de Gobernacion (SEGOB), during the first 11 months of 2013 kidnappings nationwide increased 32 percent over the same period in 2012. While kidnappings can occur anywhere, according to SEGOB during this timeframe, the states with the highest numbers of kidnappings were Guerrero, Tamaulipas, Michoacán, Estado de Mexico, and Morelos. Additionally, according to a widely publicized study by the agency responsible for national statistics (INEGI, the National Institute of Statistics and Geography), Mexico suffered an estimated 105,682 kidnappings in 2012; only 1,317 were reported to the police. Police have been implicated in some of these incidents. Both local and expatriate communities have been victimized. Almost 90 kidnappings of U.S. citizens were reported to the U.S. Embassy and consulates in Mexico between April and November of 2013.
U.S. citizens are encouraged to lower their personal profiles and to avoid wearing conspicuous jewelry or clothing bearing logos of U.S. sports teams or military themed apparel which that may identify them as U.S. citizens. U.S. citizens are encouraged to maintain awareness of their surroundings and avoid situations in which they may be isolated.
Kidnappings in Mexico have included traditional, “express” and “virtual” kidnappings. Victims of traditional kidnappings are physically abducted and held captive until a ransom is paid for release. “Express” kidnappings are those in which a victim is abducted for a short time and forced to withdraw money, usually from an ATM, then released. A “virtual” kidnapping is an extortion by deception scheme wherein a victim is contacted by phone and convinced to isolate themselves from family and friends until a ransom is paid. The victim is coerced (by threat of violence) to remain isolated and to provide phone numbers for the victim’s family or loved ones. The victim’s family is then contacted and a ransom for the “kidnapped” extracted. Recently, some travelers to Mexico staying at hotels as guests have been targets of such “virtual” kidnapping schemes.
Carjacking and highway robbery are serious problems in many parts of the border region, and U.S. citizens have been murdered in such incidents. Most victims who complied with carjackers’ demands have reported that they were not physically harmed. Carjackers have shot at vehicles that have attempted to flee. Incidents have occurred during the day and at night, and carjackers have used a variety of techniques, including roadblocks, bumping/moving vehicles to force them to stop, and running vehicles off the road at high speeds. There are indications that criminals target newer and larger vehicles, especially dark-colored SUVs. However, even drivers of old sedans and buses coming from the United States have been targeted. While violent incidents can occur anywhere and at any time, they most frequently occur at night and on isolated roads. To reduce risk when traveling by road, we strongly urge you to travel between cities throughout Mexico only during daylight hours, to avoid isolated roads, and to use toll roads (“cuotas”) whenever possible.
The Mexican government has deployed federal police and military personnel throughout the country as part of its efforts to combat the TCOs. U.S. citizens traveling on Mexican roads and highways by car or bus may encounter government checkpoints, staffed by military or law enforcement personnel. TCOs have erected their own unauthorized checkpoints, at times wearing police and military uniforms, and killed or abducted motorists who have failed to stop at them. You should cooperate at all checkpoints.
The Department imposes restrictions on U.S. government employees’ travel in Mexico. Since July 2010, USG employees are prohibited from driving on non-official travel from the U.S.-Mexico border to or from the interior of Mexico or Central America. One exception is that personal travel by motor vehicle is permitted on Highway 15 toll road between Hermosillo and Nogales during daylight hours.
USG personnel and their families are prohibited from personal travel to all areas to which it is advised to “defer non-essential travel”. When travel for official purposes is essential, it is conducted with extensive security precautions. USG personnel and their families are allowed to travel for personal reasons to the areas where no advisory is in effect or where the advisory is to exercise caution. While the general public is not forbidden from visiting places categorized under “defer non-essential travel,” USG personnel will not be able to respond quickly to an emergency situation in those areas due to security precautions that must be taken by USG personnel to travel to those areas.
For more information about travel and other conditions in Mexico, including individual states. (Use Link Below)
Emergency Message for U.S. Citizens: El Salvador Warns of Critical Crime 1/14/2014
This message is to remind U.S. citizens residing and traveling in El Salvador of the critical crime threat in El Salvador. Most travelers to El Salvador experience no safety or security problems, but as noted in our August 9, 2013, Travel Warning for El Salvador, both random and organized violent crime is endemic throughout El Salvador. U.S. citizens are not normally singled out based on their nationality, but are subject to the same threats as all other persons in El Salvador.
Over the last several weeks, several joggers and pedestrians were robbed at gunpoint in the immediate area around U.S. Embassy San Salvador. Blogs associated with local running and cycling groups have also reported on runners being targeted in the Santa Elena area as well as other affluent areas, such as Escalon and San Benito. Due to these issues, U.S. Embassy security officials advise all U.S. Government personnel not to walk, run or cycle in the unguarded streets and parksof El Salvador, even in groups, and recommend exercising only in gyms and fitness centers.
More info at link below:
Illegal Alien Tossed 2-year-old Boy from Balcony in Florida
CONFIRMED: The DEA Struck A Deal With Mexico’s Most Notorious Drug Cartel
Major Mexican newspaper’s investigation makes stunning conclusion about the U.S. gov’t and notorious Sinaloa cartel
Three injured in CBP helicopter crash near Falfurrias (TX)
Fast and Furious gun turns up after Mexican resort shootout
Alabama Man Gets 20 Years in Prison for Assaulting Border Patrol Agents, Causing Deadly Crash
Judge reaffirms ‘Constitution-free zones’ near border, teeing up high court fight
Cartel leader arrested in Amsterdam on SD charges
US Adds Chino Antrax to Kingpin List
Border Patrol agent found dead
Will House Republicans Follow the Money or Their Consciences on Immigration in 2014?
McCain slams way border is patrolled
Human Trafficking Outpaces Drugs, Guns As World’s Fastest Growing Criminal Industry
CBP To Be ‘Formally’ Authorized Under New Bill, Lawmaker Says
Construction Of DHS’s New Headquarters Gets ‘Reality Check’
Inside the Incredible Booming Subterranean Marijuana Railroad
The new face of the ‘carny’: Mexicans from Veracruz state increasingly run U.S. carnivals
A Look at Human Trafficking and San Diego’s Crime Initiative for Their Southwest Border
The Masquerade Ball-Mike Cutler
Border Patrol to demonstrate new tunnel robots
Autopsy: Decapitated Park County victim likely killed Jan. 7
Drummond Island Ice Bridge to Open
California illegal immigrants can get law license, state Supreme Court rules
Debate over municipal-IDs for immigrants
Woman found contorted into suitcase at border
Smugglers attempt to flee in Border Patrol’s first drug bust of the year
Brackettville Border Patrol Agents Arrest Sex Offender
Eagle Pass Border Patrol Agents Arrest Sex Offender
El Centro Sector Border Patrol Halts Methamphetamine Smuggling Attempt at Downtown Bus Station
14 arrested, 1 ton of marijuana seized off Ventura coast
12 People In Border Patrol Custody After Smuggling Boat Washes Ashore In Palm Beach
CBP at the Hidalgo and Anzalduas International Bridges Seize Close to $4 Million in Narcotics
U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officers Seize Nearly $410,000 in Cocaine at Brownsville Port of Entry
CBP Officers at El Paso Port Seized 35 Pounds of Heroin
CBP at JFK Seizes $150,000 in Counterfeit Currency
Violent Dominican Offender Indicted for Re-Entry into the U.S.
In Mexico’s Michoacan state, spiraling violence
2 Canadian Women arrested in Fire-bomb Attack in Mexico
Cartel Leader Arrested in Amsterdam on San Diego Charges
Mexico envoy Carlos Pujalte in Venezuela kidnap drama
Mexico vigilantes take over government building, hold 11 officers
Mexican vigilante gunmen disarm local POLICE so they can rid town of feared Knights Templar drug cartel
Mexico protects wounded leader of citizen militia trying to fight off cartels
Mexico tells vigilantes to abandon fight against cartel in Michoacan
Mexico troops clash with vigilante groups; 12 reported killed
Chinese trade fuels clash with Mexican drug cartel
Four Arrested for Attack on Guatemalan VP
Honduras Investigating Case of $7.2 Million Seized in Panama
Shown below are end-of-the-year immigration & deportation summary reports found on 12/31/13 in newspapers from different Central American countries’ newspapers. Links to the original articles (in Spanish) follow each item.
La Prensa Gráfica (San Salvador, El Salvador):
Pew study shows that six of every ten Salvadorans would emigrate to the United States.
50,221 Guatemalans had been deported by air from the U.S. to Guatemala as of Dec. 13th. This represents a 24% increase over 2012.
69,647 Hondurans were deported back to their country in 2013. Of these, 38,317 came by air from the U.S.
Venezuelan ex-beauty queen Monica Spear murdered
Five held in brutal slaying of former Miss Venezuela and ex-spouse
Police Arrest 9th Suspect in Murder of Ex-Miss Venezuela
Venezuelan Military Downs Suspected Smuggling Plane
Venezuelans blocked from buying flights out
Chile: court closes probe into ex-president Allende’s death
More foreign citizens entering Peru to work
Brazil police investigated over three-hour killing spree in Campinas
Paraguayan Hospital Under Investigation After Dozens of Deaths
Six Police Injured in Clash with Striking Chilean Port Workers
More Than a Dozen Forest Fires Raging in Chile
German national killed, wife suffers head injuries in Antigua attack
Cuba And U.S. Resume Talks, Island Asks To End “Wet Foot, Dry Foot” Policy
Remarkable photos from Castro’s first public appearance in months
Barbados economic growth expected to be less than one per cent
Caribbean economic growth declined in 2013
Jamaica could earn billions from limestone industry – researcher
Dominicans in U.S. send most of their income home
Tip near U.S. border leads to drug bust
Cocaine worth $8mn unearthed in banana crates
-end of report-
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“We have room for but one flag, the American flag…and we have room for but
one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people.”
~Theodore Roosevelt 1919