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Due to an increase in violence in the region, the US government this week issued a warning to its citizens to avoid traveling to Tijuana and other parts of Mexico.
How will this affect travelers to Mexico? We have all the details below.
U.S. Consulate Notice to Americans in Mexico
The announcement was made on the Twitter page of the United States Consulate General in Tijuana, warning citizens of reconsider trips to Baja California State due to crimes and kidnappings.
The Consulate in Tijuana even went so far as to issue a shelter-in-place for all US government employees to avoid Baja California on August 12, but has since retracted it since Sunday.
During the week there were numerous reports of vehicle fires, roadblocks and heavy police activity in the northern Baja region near the US border, particularly in the towns of Tijuana, Mexicali, Rosarito, Ensenada and Tecate.
Just last month, the government issued an advisory to the Mexican states of Sinaloa and Sonora to reconsider travel to the two regions due to an increase in gang-related violence.
Gang-Related Violence, Tijuana Mayor Says
The reasons for the Baja travel advisory are gang-related conflicts, leading to violence that erupted over the weekend in the area, according to the mayor of Tijuana.
Montserrat Caballero, Mayor of Tijuana, issued the following statement over the weekend:
“Today we tell the organized crime groups who commit these crimes that Tijuana will stay open and take care of its citizens, and we also ask them to settle their debts with those who have not paid what they owe, no with families and hardworking citizens.
You can see the video of the mayor’s statement on her Twitter.
The Tijuana/San Diego land border is generally one of the busiest border crossings in the world, with approximately 100,000 crossings per day.
Over the past week, however, local residents have reported that the highway border crossing is almost entirely free of pedestrian and automobile traffic.
Gang-related violence spreads to Guanajuato and Guadalajara
Further south in the state of Guanajuato, 25 Oxxo convenience stores were set on fire. According to local reports, no one was injured in the incidents.
Arson attacks have also been reported in the neighboring state of Jalisco. As a result, the US consulate in Guadalajara, which is the state capital of Jalisco, issued an advisory to its staff to “follow the advice of local authorities and shelter in place until further notice.”
One of the most violent areas right now is Ciudad Juarez, which sits near the US border with El Paso, Texas.
Hundreds of police have been deployed to Juarez, Baja California and all troubled areas.
The situation remains “status quo” in popular tourist areas like Cabo and Cancun
While it is important to remain especially vigilant if you are currently traveling in border regions, tensions have not made their way to other parts of the country.
According to recent reports, the state of affairs in the popular tourist destinations of Cancun, Puerto Vallarta and the Cabo San Lucas area remains “status quo”.
The second annual Baja Fest weekend at Rosarito Beach has not been canceled, MSN reported that a number of ticket holders have requested refunds.
How to stay safe while traveling in Mexico
The consulate’s Twitter page has helpful travel tips posted for all citizens abroad in Mexico. Here are some things to consider if you are traveling to Mexico:
- Be aware of your surroundings
- Follow the instructions of local authorities
- Notify friends and family of your safety
- Monitor local media for updates and in case of an emergency, call 911.
U.S. citizens overseas in Mexico can also enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), where they can receive the latest alerts about the situation on their phone.
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This article originally appeared on Travel Off Path. For the latest breaking news that will affect your upcoming trip, please visit: Traveloffpath.com
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Disclaimer: Current Travel Rules and Restrictions may change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm entry of your nationality and/or any changes to travel conditions before travelling. Travel Off Path does not approve travel against government advice