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Mexico Public Announcement

Issued by US Department of State

Sep 15, 2006

This Public Announcement alerts U.S. citizens to the rising level of brutal violence in areas of Mexico. This violence has occurred throughout Mexico, but has been particularly persistent in the city of Nuevo Laredo within the state of Tamaulipas. This Public Announcement expires on March 15, 2007.

U.S. citizens residing and traveling in Mexico should exercise extreme caution when in unfamiliar areas and be aware of their surroundings at all times. Public sources suggest that narcotics-related violence has claimed 1,500 lives in Mexico this year. In recent months there have been execution-style murders of Mexican and U.S. citizens in Tamaulipas (particularly Nuevo Laredo), Michoacan, Baja California, Guerrero, and other states.

U.S. citizens have also been victims of random shootings on major highways outside of Mexico City, Nuevo Laredo, Tijuana, and other areas throughout Mexico. In recent years, dozens of U.S. citizens have been kidnapped in Nuevo Laredo, with more than two dozen cases still unresolved; recent incidents indicate a possible resurgence of kidnappings for ransom. Mexican police and other government figures have been murdered in Guerrero, Nuevo Leon, the Federal District, Tamaulipas, and other states. 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.

Though there is no evidence that U.S. citizens are targeted, criminals look for every opportunity to take advantage of unwary travelers. 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.

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 American 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 http://www.usembassy-mexico.gov/.

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