State Department Reminder: Traveling to Mexico Can Be Scary; Agency Notes Recent Violence in Rocky Point

The Department of State revised its travel advisory for U.S. citizens planning on traveling to Mexico, and reminds the public that "millions" of Americans safely visit Mexico every year.

With that fact out of the way, the State Department notes the transnational criminal organizations, drug-related violence, homicides, gun battles, kidnappings, carjackings, highway robberies (*inhale*), disappearances, crooked cops, assaults, and other things that have been going on around the country that you may want to take into consideration for your trip.

See also:
-Fear Is Killing Tourism in Rocky Point, Mexico, Though Tourists Are Relatively Safe There -- For Now
-Rocky Point Warning Cites Cartel Violence of Past Year
-Six Killed, Including One Police Officer, in Rocky Point Shootout

Of course, these advisories aren't new, and this one carries the same general information as previous years, but the details are tweaked a bit.

For one, the State Department tallied 113 U.S. citizens being murdered in Mexico in 2011, and 32 through the first six months of 2012. Those are murders that occur "under all circumstances," so it's hard to say exactly what those numbers indicate.

As for Rocky Point, or Puerto Peñasco -- the popular vacation spot for Americans, which is a several-hour drive from the Valley -- the State Department advisory says U.S. citizens should "exercise caution" when visiting.

It was just a year-and-a-half ago that the State Department's advisory first mentioned Rocky Point, citing cartel violence in the area.

The State Department hasn't reported any U.S. citizens being caught up in this violence since that announcement, but there has still been violence in the area. For example, six people were killed in a shootout -- including one policeman -- in a shooting in the middle of the day in July.

"U.S. citizens in Puerto Peñasco are encouraged to maintain a high level of vigilance and to take appropriate steps to bolster their personal security following a July 2012 mid-day gun battle between TCO members and increases in reported robberies and assaults against U.S. citizens," the State Department advisory says.

The U.S. Consul General in Nogales said at the time that Americans were also being targeted in home invasions, but that's not mentioned in the State Department's advisory.

The really, really detailed Mexico travel advice from the State Department can be found here.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley