Mexico Public Announcement 0

Issued by US Department of State

Jan 26, 2005

This Public Announcement is being issued to alert U.S. citizens to the current security situation along the Mexican side of the U.S.-Mexico border in the wake of increased violence among drug traffickers. Although the majority of travelers in the region visit without mishap, violent criminal activity, including murder and kidnapping, in Mexico's northern border region has increased. The overwhelming majority of the victims of violent crime have been Mexican citizens. Nonetheless, U.S. citizens should be aware of the risk posed by the deteriorating security situation. This Public Announcement expires on April 25, 2005.

Violent criminal activity along the U.S.-Mexico border has increased as a product of a war between criminal organizations struggling for control of the lucrative narcotics trade along the border. The leaders of several major criminal organizations have been arrested, creating a power vacuum. This has resulted in a wave of violence aimed primarily at members of those trafficking organizations and criminal justice officials. However, foreign visitors, including Americans, have been among the victims of homicides and kidnappings in the border region in recent months.

Mexico's police forces suffer from lack of funds and training, and the judicial system is weak, overworked, and inefficient. Criminals, armed with an impressive array of weapons, know there is little chance they will be caught and punished. In some cases, assailants have been wearing full or partial police uniforms and have used vehicles that resemble police vehicles, indicating some elements of the police might be involved.

U.S. citizens are urged to be especially aware of safety and security concerns when visiting the border region. The majority of the thousands of U.S. citizens who cross the border each day do so safely, exercising common-sense precautions such as visiting only the legitimate business and tourism areas of border towns during daylight hours. It is strongly recommended that red-light districts and neighborhoods where street drug dealing occurs be avoided.

U.S. citizens who are victims of crime in the border region are urged to contact the Consular Section of the nearest U.S. consulate for advice and assistance.

The U.S. Consulate General in Tijuana, which covers the states of Baja California Norte and Baja California Sur, is located at Ave. Tapachula 96, Colonia Hipódromo. The Consulate General's telephone number is (52)(664) 622-7400, the fax for the office of American Citizen Services is (664) 686-1168, and the Consulate General's web address is http://www.usembassy-mexico.gov/tijuana/Teacs.htm.

The U.S. Consulate in Nogales, which covers northern Sonora, is located at Calle San Jose, Fraccionamiento Los Alamos. The Consulate's telephone number is (52)(631) 313-4820, the fax for the Consulate is (52) (631) 313-46-52, the e-mail address for the Consulate is nogales7@prodigy.net.mx and the Consulate's web address is http://www.usembassy-mexico.gov/nogales/NE_Introduction.htm .

The U.S. Consulate General in Ciudad Juárez, which covers the state of Chihuahua, is located at Avenida Lopez Mateos 924 Norte. The Consulate General's telephone number is (52)(656) 611-3000, the fax for the Consulate General is (656) 616-9056, the e-mail address for the Consulate General's Office of American Citizen Services is cdjamericancitizens@state.gov, and the Consulate General's web address is http://usembassy.state.gov/posts/mx2/wwwhmain.html .

The U.S. Consulate in Nuevo Laredo, which covers northern Coahuila and northwestern Tamaulipas states, is located at Calle Allende 3330, Colonia Jardin. The Consulate's telephone number is (52)(867) 714-0512, the e-mail address for the Consulate's Office of American Citizen Services is NuevoLaredo-ACS@state.gov, and the Consulate's web address is http://nuevolaredo.usconsulate.gov/nuevolaredo/index.html .

The U.S. Consulate in Matamoros, which covers eastern and southern Tamaulipas state, is located at Calle Primera #2002, Colonia Jardin. The Consulate's telephone number is (52)(868) 812-4402, the fax for the Consulate is (868) 812-2171, and the Consulate's web address is http://www.usembassy-mexico.gov/matamoros/matamoros1.html .

Americans living or traveling in Mexico are encouraged to register with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate through the State Department's travel registration website, https://travelregistration.state.gov , and to obtain updated information on travel and security within Mexico. Americans without Internet access may register directly with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. By registering, American citizens make it easier for the Embassy or Consulate to contact them in case of emergency.

Updated information on travel and security for Mexico may be obtained from the Department of State by calling 1-888-407-4747 within the U.S., or from overseas, 1-317-472-2328. U.S. citizens should consult the Consular Information Sheet for Mexico, the Worldwide Caution Public Announcement, and the travel publication A Safe Trip Abroad, all of which are available on the State Department's Internet site at http://travel.state.gov .

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