Thursday, January 27, 2005

Travel to Mexico

The State Department has issued a warning to Americans traveling to Mexico concerning the risk of violent crime:

Amid escalating narcotics-related violence across northern Mexico, the State Department alerted Americans on Wednesday to the dangers of crossing the border.

"U.S. citizens should be aware of the risk posed by the deteriorating security situation," said a statement issued in Mexico City and Washington. "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 department stopped short of warning Americans against visiting Mexico. But it advised them to take extra precautions, such as visiting border cities only in daylight and avoiding seedier neighborhoods known for prostitution and drugs.

"We certainly do not want at this time to advise Americans to refrain from traveling to Mexico by land or to avoid the border areas," U.S. Ambassador Tony Garza wrote in a separate letter to senior Mexican officials Wednesday. "But it is our responsibility to alert them to the enhanced risks and to provide guidance on how best to protect themselves."

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