”The State Department, meanwhile, announced new travel restrictions Friday for U.S. government employees working away from the border in Mexico and Central America. As of July 15, they and their families are barred from crossing anywhere along Texas’ border, north or south, because of safety concerns. The U.S. government continues to urge Americans to exercise extreme caution or defer unnecessary travel to certain parts of Mexico.”
U.S. extends travel warning to Mexico
May 7, 2010
The U.S. State Department on Thursday extended a travel warning that had been issued for Mexico because of the region’s high level of drug and gang violence.
The State Department warning also notes that the authorized departure of family members of U.S. government personnel from U.S. consulates in the northern Mexico border cities of Tijuana, Nogales, Ciudad Juarez, Nuevo Laredo, Monterrey and Matamoros has been extended.
The State Department issued similar warnings in March and April.
The Mexican government said in April that more than 22,700 people have been killed in drug-related violence since December 2006.
“While most victims of violence are Mexican citizens associated with criminal activity, the security situation poses serious risks for U.S. citizens, as well,” the State Department warning says.
Much of the recent violence has occurred in northern Mexico.
Hours-long gun battles are common, and U.S. officials were forced earlier this year to temporarily close the consulate in Reynosa, a city in Tamaulipas state.
“More than half of all Americans killed in Mexico in FY 2009 whose deaths were reported to the U.S. Embassy were killed in the border cities of Ciudad Juarez and Tijuana.”
The State Department targets six Mexican states as particularly dangerous.
“Recent violent attacks and persistent security concerns have prompted the U.S. embassy to urge U.S. citizens to defer unnecessary travel to Michoacan and Tamaulipas, to parts of Chihuahua, Sinaloa, Durango and Coahuila and to advise U.S. citizens residing or traveling in those areas to exercise extreme caution,” the warning says.