U.S. extends travel warning to Mexico

U.S. extends travel warning to Mexico

By the CNN Wire Staff
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • U.S. State Department updates travel warning for people traveling to Mexico
  • Warning cites heightened level of drug and gang violence
  • More than 22,000 have been killed since Mexican president’s crackdown on drug cartels
RELATED TOPICS
  • Mexico
  • Gang Violence
  • U.S. Department of State
  • Travel and Tourism

Washington (CNN) — The U.S. State Department on Thursday extended a travel warning that had been issued for Mexico because of the region’s high level of drug and gang violence.

The State Department warning also notes that the authorized departure of family members of U.S. government personnel from U.S. consulates in the northern Mexico border cities of Tijuana, Nogales, Ciudad Juarez, Nuevo Laredo, Monterrey and Matamoros has been extended.

The State Department issued similar warnings in March and April.

The Mexican government said in April that more than 22,700 people have been killed in drug-related violence since December 2006, when President Felipe Calderon declared war on narcotraffickers.

“While most victims of violence are Mexican citizens associated with criminal activity, the security situation poses serious risks for U.S. citizens, as well,” the State Department warning says.

Much of the recent violence has occurred in northern Mexico, where two drug cartels have been waging a bloody war since January.

The area, which borders Texas, has seen ferocious fighting between the Zetas and Gulf cartels after a recent gangland slaying. Hours-long gun battles are common, and U.S. officials were forced earlier this year to temporarily close the consulate in Reynosa, a city in Tamaulipas state.

Ciudad Juarez remains the most violent city in the nation, though.

“Since 2006, three times as many people have been murdered in Ciudad Juarez, in the state of Chihuahua, across from El Paso, Texas, than in any other city in Mexico,” the State Department travel warning says. “More than half of all Americans killed in Mexico in FY 2009 whose deaths were reported to the U.S. Embassy were killed in the border cities of Ciudad Juarez and Tijuana.”

The State Department targets six Mexican states as particularly dangerous.

“Recent violent attacks and persistent security concerns have prompted the U.S. embassy to urge U.S. citizens to defer unnecessary travel to Michoacan and Tamaulipas, to parts of Chihuahua, Sinaloa, Durango and Coahuila and to advise U.S. citizens residing or traveling in those areas to exercise extreme caution,” the warning says.

The latest trouble in Tamaulipas and neighboring Nuevo Leon state started January 18, when Gulf cartel members killed top Zeta lieutenant Victor Mendoza. The Zetas demanded that the Gulf cartel turn over the killers, but the narco group refused.

The Zetas, composed mostly of former elite military troops, had been the armed enforcers for the Gulf cartel since 2001. They have become more independent in recent years, and authorities say the all-out war between the two cartels indicates the split is permanent.

  • watkinst002

    The answer is simple, shut down the border, one way traffic only into mexico so the illegals and the drug users can cross over. If nothing comes across, and I do mean nothing, not goods, not people, nothing until mexico gets its act together. If no drugs crossing over then no money flowing back.
  • cologringo

    You fearful, hand-wringing ninnies deserve the pathetic, uninspired lives that you evidently lead. I motorcycled from the US to Panama last year, and rode through all of the areas listed in this article. Plus the capital cities of all of the Central American countries. If you people are so brainwash …more
    You fearful, hand-wringing ninnies deserve the pathetic, uninspired lives that you evidently lead. I motorcycled from the US to Panama last year, and rode through all of the areas listed in this article. Plus the capital cities of all of the Central American countries. If you people are so brainwashed by the Bush years of invented fearmongering and right-wing asstards telling you to be very afraid, you deserve pity. Being an American is increasingly an embarrassment on the global stage, and fearful twits like those posting here exemplify only weakness. less

  • capexcitemnt

    WOW! you did all that
  • TheTexasStud

    All of this sounds so serious. All I want is to enjoy some “brown colored meat”. HeeHee! Yes, for real. Grins and Giggles.
  • onlyocdemo

    I live two hours from the mexican border and it is dirty and gross. I have been to Puerto Vallarta and Ensenada as well, only small area is nice, the rest is completely third world. No reason to go so go ahead and keep your warnings.
  • HIDALGENSE1

    WORD OF ADVICE I TRAVEL TO MEXICO EVERY WEEK TO BORDER TOWNS AND THE SAFEST TIME TO GO IS IN THE MORNING TRY TO BE OUT BY SUNSET ONCE DEEP IN MEXICO UR SAFE JUST NOT SINALOA REMEMBER THE CARTELS WITH HUGE AMOUNTS OF MONEY BRIBES CAN BUY ANY ONE OR ANYTHING THERE’S CASES OF INVESTIGATIONS THAT ARE GO …more
    WORD OF ADVICE I TRAVEL TO MEXICO EVERY WEEK TO BORDER TOWNS AND THE SAFEST TIME TO GO IS IN THE MORNING TRY TO BE OUT BY SUNSET ONCE DEEP IN MEXICO UR SAFE JUST NOT SINALOA REMEMBER THE CARTELS WITH HUGE AMOUNTS OF MONEY BRIBES CAN BUY ANY ONE OR ANYTHING THERE’S CASES OF INVESTIGATIONS THAT ARE GOING ON WHERE D.E.A F.B.I BORDER PATROL AND OTHER GOV AGENCIES HAVE BEEN FOUND WITH TIES WITH CARTELS BU WHY DOESN’T THIS EVER COME OUT IN THE MEDIA BECAUSE THE U.S WANTS TO KEEP ITS SELF LOOKING GOOD INFRONT OF THE WORLD LIKE IF CORRUPTION DIDN’T EXIST HERE
  • alumette

    Mexico does not have much of a middle class as we do in the US. They have the upper class with all the money from land and businesses and they have the lower class which struggles and defects to the US for better wages. There are the guys who went to the drug cartels because of the money and now, th …more
    Mexico does not have much of a middle class as we do in the US. They have the upper class with all the money from land and businesses and they have the lower class which struggles and defects to the US for better wages. There are the guys who went to the drug cartels because of the money and now, the cartels have exploded and gotten very arrogant. They kill relentlessly. It shows what the lack of money will do to angry and desperate people. They resent the rich to the degree that their lives become worthless….a very dangerous situation indeed. 
  • Azguntoter

    If the U.S. military and Mexican military would team up they could wipe out all the cartels and drug factories. If we can take over an entire country this shouldn’t be a problem……..But it is, because both governments make too much money off of the drugs.
  • Just2Reason

    What does that mean – “the authorized departure of family members (…) has been extended?? Not very good English, CNN. “[F]amily members of U.S. government personnel” need(ed) authorization to leave Mexico??
  • Just2Reason

    To TeaBagged- so what is “authorized departure?” Alumette (below) suggests it means the U.S Government will pay for them to come back.
  • TeaBagged

    Use of the passive voice is not a grammatical error. It’s a stylistic issue. In this case the statement is clear, so I wouldn’t be too harsh on the CNN wire staffer who wrote it. However, the supervising editor should probably have a word or two with the staff.
  • alumette

    They are supporting the departure of families and it means they are paying for their moving expenses.
  • Guest

    I guess it means that the US government will pay for the family reolcation expenses.
  • lovelyk

    @Jess89898- go to Cancun ! I just got back from a family beach vacation and had a great time.
  • XKaliber

    While Cancun is fine, I just dont see spending my vacation budget in Mexico for years to come. Sorry but I can get just a good a deal in safer places elsewhere.
  • BellevueWA

    Yeah, my brother was just in Cancun with 8 friends and no problems.
    Still, Mexico is a risky place to be – if I went, on my way I would never leave the airport. Not even mentioning swine flu.
  • Guest

    Agreed! I was in Cancun late March/early April and had a FANTASTIC time. It was the best vacation I’ve ever been on.
  • lovelyk

    purpleshadow ” If it is such a great country, why don’t they stay in their own country instead of coming here and infiltrating our country?”@purpleshadow ” If it is such a great country, why don’t they stay in their own country instead of coming here and infiltrating our country?”Probably for the sa …more
    purpleshadow ” If it is such a great country, why don’t they stay in their own country instead of coming here and infiltrating our country?”

    @purpleshadow ” If it is such a great country, why don’t they stay in their own country instead of coming here and infiltrating our country?”
    Probably for the same reasons that YOUR ancestors came here. I guess that I shouldn’t be surprised anymore by the bigotry that people openly display. BTW, people usually only resort to calling people derogatory names when they don’t have anything intelligent to say. I suppose that’s because most prejudiced people don’t have any education beyond high school 😉

  • Pestilent1

    Come on you guys.. the cartel’s aren’t fighting over turf or drugs… all they want are their “day labor’s” back! They can’t farm their own crops if all of their labor force is picking lettuce!
  • Unfortunately, my son has planned his wedding in Cabo or I for one, would never be setting foot in Mexico again. Would much rather spend our money in the good ole USA!
  • rafaq1

    what i dont get is.. if the gov of mexico/ border line US knows that 2 pretty powerful cartel r fighting for grounds. killing innocent people, killing more people than the current war in Iraq.. why it is not being put in high priority….. i know. CORRUPTION.
  • CamarilloSam

    Mexico city is larger than any American city.
    It’s filled with skyscappers and freeways built by Mexicans. Those skyscrappers have survived numerous earthquakes. Don’t be insulting to an entire nation. It is not a land of gardners and drug dealers..
  • XKaliber

    @purple, have you even seen other parts of Mexico, and as for some posters claiming they don’t have a middle class, your really out of touch. Americans have to get a passport and finally start seeing theirs is not the only country.
  • alumette

    Several years ago, I worked with a surgeon who had Mexican roots and he wanted to go back there in Mexico city. He changed his mind because of the crime and the kidnapping issues. He stayed in the US. He was a US citizen anyway. Mexico is simply becoming too dangerous for everybody. It’s likely “saf …more
    Several years ago, I worked with a surgeon who had Mexican roots and he wanted to go back there in Mexico city. He changed his mind because of the crime and the kidnapping issues. He stayed in the US. He was a US citizen anyway. Mexico is simply becoming too dangerous for everybody. It’s likely “safe” to go to Cancun or some independent vacation spot away from border towns but still, you can’t help but wonder. I love Mexico and I find this issue very sad and troublesome. 
  • purpleshadow

    If it is such a great country, why don’t they stay in their own country instead of coming here and infiltrating our country?
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