SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, Texas -- If you are going to Padre Island for Spring Break this year and are thinking about traveling into Mexico, give it some serious thought before you go! The U.S. State Department issued a new Travel Warning. On Sunday, an American consulate employee, her husband and the husband of a Mexican employee were gunned down in separate incidents in Juarez. You can chck out this Associated Press story "Mexico Violence Factors In Spring Break Plans."
While millions of U.S. citizens safely visit Mexico each year (including thousands who cross the land border every day for study, tourism or business), violence in the country has increased recently. It is imperative that travelers understand the risks of travel to Mexico, how best to avoid dangerous situations, and whom to contact if one becomes a crime victim. Common-sense precautions such as visiting only legitimate business and tourist areas during daylight hours, and avoiding areas where prostitution and drug dealing might occur, can help ensure that travel to Mexico is safe and enjoyable. <<More>>
The greatest increase in violence has occurred near the U.S. border. However, U.S. citizens traveling throughout Mexico should exercise caution in unfamiliar areas and be aware of their surroundings at all times. Mexican and foreign bystanders have been injured or killed in violent attacks in cities across the country, demonstrating the heightened risk of violence in public places.
Effective since January 23, 2007, the State Department has reccomended that all persons, including U.S. citizens, traveling by air to the United States from Mexico, Canada, Central and South America, the Caribbean, and Bermuda will be required to present a valid passport. <<More>>
While traveling in Mexico, American citizens are subject to Mexican law. An arrest or accident in Mexico can result in a difficult legal or medical situation, sometimes at a great expense to the traveler. Mexican law can impose harsh penalties for violations that would be considered minor in the United States, and U.S. citizenship in no way exempts one from full prosecution under the Mexican criminal justice system. If U.S. citizens find themselves in legal trouble, they should contact the closest U.S. Consulate, U.S. Consular Agency, or the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City. <<More>>