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Press Releases 07

Guidance for Americans Traveling to Mexico

Statement by Ambassador Antonio O. Garza

Mexico City, April 19, 2007 — “As part of the Department of State’s and this Embassy’s continuing responsibility to protect U.S. citizens abroad, I have instructed that previous Public Announcements we have issued concerning existing levels of violence in Mexico be renewed effective today. Today’s Public Announcement supersedes our previous announcements dated September 15, 2006, regarding general violence in Mexico, and January 18, 2007, regarding the situation in Oaxaca City. This new Public Announcement will expire on October 16, 2007.

“We ask U.S. citizens to exercise all due caution while in Mexico and remain vigilant for any situation that could become dangerous. While demonstrations in Mexico are almost always peaceful, there exists the potential for violence, and U.S. citizens should avoid any such demonstrations.

“The Embassy recommends that U.S. citizens planning travel to Mexico read this latest Public Announcement (attached) and consult the State Department’s Consular Information Sheet for Mexico (travel.state.gov) for more detailed information on ways to help make their trip a safe one.”


PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesman

MEXICO

April 19, 2007

This Public Announcement advises U.S. citizens on security situations in Mexico that may affect their activities while in that country. This Public Announcement supersedes previous Public Announcements for Mexico dated January 18, 2007 and September 15, 2006. This Public Announcement expires on October 16, 2007.

Narcotics-Related Violence - 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. In recent months there have been execution-style murders of Mexican officials in Tamaulipas (particularly Nuevo Laredo), Michoacan, Baja California, Guerrero (particularly Acapulco), Nuevo Leon (especially in and around Monterrey) and other states. 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 its effort to combat violence, the Government of Mexico has deployed military troops in various parts of the country. U.S. citizens are advised to cooperate with official checkpoints when traveling on Mexican highways.

In recent years dozens of U.S. citizens have been kidnapped in Nuevo Laredo with more than two dozen cases still unresolved and new cases of kidnap for ransom continue to be reported. No one can be considered immune from kidnapping on the basis of occupation, nationality, or other factors. Drug cartel members have been known to follow and harass U.S. citizens traveling in their vehicles, particularly in border areas including Nuevo Laredo and Matamoros. U.S. citizens who believe they are being followed should notify officials as soon as possible. U.S. citizens should make every attempt to travel on main roads during daylight hours, particularly the toll (“cuota”) 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 refrain from displaying expensive-looking jewelry, large amounts of money, or other valuable items.

Oaxaca City - U.S. citizens traveling to Oaxaca City should be aware that from May to November 2006, protests in Oaxaca City became increasingly violent resulting in at least nine deaths. On October 27, 2006, a U.S. citizen was shot and killed in Oaxaca City as a result of the violence and disorder caused by ongoing civil unrest in the city. Many of the issues that were the basis for the protests remain unresolved. U.S. Citizens planning to travel to Oaxaca City should check on current conditions before beginning their travel.

Demonstrations - Demonstrations occur frequently throughout Mexico and are usually peaceful. However, even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence unexpectedly. During violent demonstrations or law enforcement operations, U.S. citizens are reminded 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 any protests. The State Department reminds U.S. citizens 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 more detailed information on staying safe in Mexico, please see the Mexico Consular Information Sheet 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 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 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: ccs@usembassy.net.mx. The Embassy's Internet address is ../../.

Consulates:

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.


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