Holiday Travel Precautions
United States Mission in Mexico
Security Message for U.S. Citizens: Holiday Travel Precautions
LAST UPDATED: DECEMBER 19, 2014
The lone wolf attack in Sydney, Australia on December 15, 2014, resulting in the deaths of two hostages, is a reminder that U.S. citizens should be extra cautious, maintain a very high level of vigilance, and take appropriate steps to enhance their personal security.
This Travel Alert expires on March 19, 2015.
An analysis of past attacks and threat reporting strongly suggests a focus by terrorists not only on the targeting of U.S. government facilities but also on hotels, shopping areas, places of worship, and schools, among other targets, during or coinciding with this holiday period. U.S. citizens abroad should be mindful that terrorist groups and those inspired by them can pose unpredictable threats in public venues. U.S. citizens should remain alert to local conditions and for signs of danger.
December 12, 2014
With the approaching holiday season, the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Mexico are receiving increasing reports of highway robberies and carjackings on popular transit routes into the interior of Mexico, including on toll roads (“cuotas”). Criminals are very aware that many travelers coming from the United States at this time of year are carrying gifts, often expensive electronic items and jewelry. The criminals monitor the highways to identify potential targets, and appear to be targeting individuals displaying valuable items or driving vehicles they believe likely to contain these items, including vehicles with U.S. license plates. Most criminal activity occurs after dark, currently between 6:00 P.M. and sunrise.
While U.S. citizens have, in the past, been murdered in highway robbery and carjacking incidents, in recent reports most victims who complied with robbers' demands have reported that they were not physically harmed. In some cases, robbers have shot at vehicles that have attempted to flee. Robbers have used a variety of techniques, including roadblocks, bumping/moving vehicles to force them to stop, and running vehicles off the road at high speeds. While violent incidents can occur anywhere and at any time, they most frequently occur after dark and on isolated stretches of roads. To reduce risk when traveling by road, we strongly urge you to travel between cities throughout Mexico only during daylight hours, to avoid isolated roads, and to continue to use toll roads ("cuotas") whenever possible.
The Government of Mexico’s Programa Paisano provides support to U.S. residents returning to Mexico for the holiday season, including providing security information. http://www.paisano.gob.mx/
The current Travel Warning for Mexico provides more specific information by Mexican state. Travelers traveling by road are urged to review the sections on each state they will transit, as well as their final destination.
Maintain a high level of vigilance and take appropriate steps to enhance your personal security.U.S. citizen victims of crime in Mexico are encouraged to report incidents to the police and to the nearest U.S. consular office.
We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in Mexico enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) at www.Travel.State.Gov. STEP enrollment gives you the latest security updates, and makes it easier for the U.S. embassy or nearest U.S. consulate to contact you in an emergency. If you don’t have Internet access, enroll directly with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.
Regularly monitor the State Department's website, where you can find current Travel Warnings (including the Travel Warning for Mexico), Travel Alerts, and the Worldwide Caution. Read the Country Specific Information for Mexico. For additional information, refer to “A Safe Trip Abroad” on the State Department’s website.
Contact the U.S. embassy or consulate for up-to-date information on travel restrictions. You can also call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays). Follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and download our freeSmart Traveler iPhone App to have travel information at your fingertips.
Mexico City: Paseo de la Reforma 305, Colonia Cuauhtemoc, telephone: +(52)(55) 5080-2000.
Consulates (with consular districts):
· Ciudad Juarez (Chihuahua): Paseo de la Victoria 3650, telephone. (011)(52)(656) 227-3000.
· Guadalajara (Nayarit, Jalisco, Aguas Calientes, and Colima): Progreso 175, telephone (011)(52)(333) 268-2100.
· Hermosillo (Sinaloa and the southern part of the state of Sonora): Avenida Monterrey 141, telephone (011)(52)(662) 289-3500.
· Matamoros (the southern part of Tamaulipas with the exception of the city of Tampico): Avenida Primera 2002, telephone (011)(52)(868) 812-4402.
· Merida (Campeche, Yucatan, and Quintana Roo): Calle 60 no. 338-K x 29 y 31, Col. Alcala Martin, Merida, Yucatan, Mexico 97050, telephone (011)(52)(999) 942-5700 or 202-250-3711 (U.S. number).
· Monterrey (Nuevo Leon, Durango, Zacatecas, San Luis Potosi, and the southern part of Coahuila):Prolongacion Ave. Alfonso Reyes No. 150, Col. Valle Poniente, Santa Catarina, Nuevo Leon, 66196, telephone (011)(52)(818) 047-3100.
· Nogales (the northern part of Sonora): Calle San Jose, Nogales, Sonora, telephone (011)(52)(631) 311-8150.
· Nuevo Laredo (the northern part of Coahuila and the northwestern part of Tamaulipas): Calle Allende 3330, Col. Jardin, telephone (011)(52)(867) 714-0512.
· Tijuana (Baja California Norte and Baja California Sur): Paseo de Las Culturas s/n Mesa de Otay, telephone (011) (52) (664) 977-2000.
· Acapulco: Hotel Emporio, Costera Miguel Aleman 121 – Suite 14, telephone (011)(52)(744) 481-0100 or (011)(52)(744) 484-0300.
· Cancún: Blvd. Kukulcan Km 13 ZH Torre La Europea, Despacho 301 Cancun, Quintana Roo, Mexico C.P. 77500, telephone (011)(52)(998) 883-0272.
· Los Cabos: Las Tiendas de Palmilla Local B221, Carretera Transpeninsular Km. 27.5, San José del Cabo, BCS, Mexico 23406 telephone, (624) 143-3566 Fax: (624) 143-6750.
· Mazatlán: Playa Gaviotas #202, Zona Dorada, telephone (011)(52)(669) 916-5889.
· Oaxaca: Macedonio Alcalá no. 407, interior 20, telephone (011)(52)(951) 514-3054, (011) (52)(951) 516-2853.
· Piedras Negras: Abasolo #211, Zona Centro, Piedras Negras, Coah., telephone, (011)(52)(878) 782-5586.
· Playa del Carmen: "The Palapa," Calle 1 Sur, between Avenida 15 and Avenida 20, telephone (011)(52)(984) 873-0303 or 202-370-6708(a U.S. number).
· Puerto Vallarta: Paradise Plaza, Paseo de los Cocoteros #1, Local #4, Interior #17, Nuevo Vallarta, Nayarit, telephone (011)(52)(322) 222-0069.
· San Miguel de Allende: Centro Comercial La Luciernaga, Libramiento Manuel Zavala (Pepe KBZON), telephone (011)(52)(415) 152-2357.