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Mexico Public Announcement

Issued by US Department of State

Aug 24, 2006

This Public Announcement alerts U.S. citizens to ongoing demonstrations in Oaxaca City, Oaxaca, Mexico. Teachers, students, and other groups have engaged in increasingly violent demonstrations in and around Oaxaca City for several months. U.S. citizens traveling to Oaxaca City should consider carefully the risk of travel at this time due to the recent increase in violence there. This Public Announcement expires on September 24, 2006.

A local teachers union and other groups have held protests throughout the city of Oaxaca as a result of labor and other disputes with the local government. Demonstrators have occupied or closed government facilities, and have closed several roads throughout the city. Demonstrations have been marked by mounting violence, including at least two reported fatalities. The possibility for violence continues and the situation remains tense. Vandalism, arrests, and injuries continue as a result of the ongoing confrontations. The U.S. Embassy in Mexico City has received reports of robberies and assaults in areas of the city not normally known to pose a high crime risk. In light of these increasingly violent demonstrations, U.S. citizens should carefully consider the risks of traveling to Oaxaca City at this time.

U.S. citizens in Oaxaca should remain in their homes or hotels, and avoid downtown Oaxaca and surrounding areas during active demonstrations. Reports indicate that protesters may attempt to close local airport facilities and the main highway linking Mexico City and Oaxaca. U.S. citizens in the area should monitor local news reports for any significant road closures and contact their airline to confirm flight information.

Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence. 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.

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, Americans 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 other 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 American 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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