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Press Releases 06

U.S. Embassy Elevates Alert to U.S. Citizens To Avoid Travel to Oaxaca and Urges Full Commitment to Restoration of the Rule of Law

Mexico City, October 30, 2006 – β€œThe U.S. Embassy in Mexico and the U.S. Department of State today announced their decision to extend the current Public Announcement regarding the continued and escalating violence in Oaxaca City, Oaxaca.

Today and over the past weekend, Mexican federal forces have been confronting armed protesters in Oaxaca City. On Friday, October 27, at least four people – including an American journalist - were killed during an exchange of gunfire during a protest in Oaxaca.

These tragic and senseless deaths over the weekend, in addition to the nine deaths already caused by the civil unrest in Oaxaca in the past several months, of course, underscore the critical need for a return to lawfulness and order in Oaxaca.

U.S. citizens should avoid any travel to Oaxaca City, and if they must travel there, they should exercise extreme caution throughout the state of Oaxaca until the government of Mexico restores order to the area.

This Announcement supersedes the previous public Announcement on Oaxaca we issued on August 24, 2006. Attached is the text of the updated Public Announcement which will now expire on November 15, 2006. The U.S. Embassy will be monitoring the situation in Oaxaca on a day to day basis to determine whether to alter this advisory in any way.”

* * * * *

Public Announcement Regarding Demonstrations in Oaxaca City, Oaxaca
October 30, 2006

This Public Announcement supersedes the Public Announcement dated August 24, which alerts U.S. citizens to the mounting violence and disorder in Oaxaca City, Oaxaca, Mexico. U.S. citizens should at this time avoid travel to Oaxaca City due to this increase in violence, which has resulted in at least nine deaths over the past several months. This Public Announcement expires on November 15, 2006.

On October 27, a U.S. journalist was fatally shot in Oaxaca City amid the ongoing violence and disorder caused by civil unrest. Several protest groups have engaged in increasingly violent demonstrations in and around Oaxaca City for several months, sometimes resulting in similarly violent reactions from other groups.

The Government of Mexico ordered the mobilization of the Federal Preventive Police (PFP) force to Oaxaca City on October 28 to quell violence and restore order to the area. Protesters and the PFP are currently engaged in violent confrontations within the city. There are reports that the main highway and secondary roads linking Oaxaca City to Mexico City may be closed at any time, and flights may be temporarily delayed or cancelled at the Xoxocotlan International Airport in Oaxaca City.

U.S. citizens already in Oaxaca should avoid demonstrations, remain in their homes or hotels, and avoid the downtown and surrounding areas during demonstrations or PFP operations, as random shootings and violence may occur at any time. Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence unexpectedly. Since the timing and routes of 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 any protests.

U.S. citizens are reminded to avoid participating in demonstrations and other activities that might be deemed political by Mexican authorities. The Mexican constitution prohibits political activities by foreigners, and such actions may result in detention and/or deportation.

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 public announcement, travel warnings and public announcements 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 outside the United States and Canada, a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays). U.S. 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, please contact the U.S. embassy in Mexico City:
Office of Citizens' Consular Services
Reforma Ave 305
Col Cuauhtemoc
Mexico, D.F., Mexico CP 06500

Tel: [011-52](55) 5080-2000
or e-mail: ccs@usembassy.net.mx.


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