Goin’ south? Violence leads to yet another Mexico travel warning

| Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The U.S. State Department is warning U.S. citizens traveling to or within Mexico to tread cautiously amid ever-increasing drug war violence – particularly near the U.S.-Mexico border.

The State Department has issued multiple such warnings during the past few years, though last week’s warning took a more serious tone and detailed several specific threats.

“Large firefights between rival (transnational criminal organizations) or TCOs and Mexican authorities have taken place in towns and cities in many parts of Mexico, especially in the border region,” the warning reads. “Firefights have occurred in broad daylight on streets and in other public venues, such as restaurants and clubs. During some of these incidents, U.S. citizens have been trapped and temporarily prevented from leaving the area. The location and timing of future armed engagements cannot be predicted.”

“According to Government of Mexico figures, 34,612 people have been killed in narcotics-related violence in Mexico since December 2006,” the warning reads. “More than 15,000 narcotics-related homicides occurred in 2010, an increase of almost two-thirds compared to 2009.”

Mexican drug cartels have shown an increased presence even within the United States in recent months, leading OOIDA and others to question the timing of the DOT’s plan to push forward another cross border trucking program.