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See the US Dept of State Travel Warning
for Mexico. This is a change
from the long-standing Mexico Travel Alert
, reflecting recent general violence and specific attacks on US Embassy officials and their family.
Travel Warnings are issued to describe long-term, protracted conditions that make a country dangerous or unstable. A Travel Warning is also issued when the U.S. Government's ability to assist American citizens is constrained due to the closure of an embassy or consulate or because of a drawdown of its staff.
We note that the warning is in two parts, the first regards family members of US Embassy employees and the second part is to travellers in general.
We encourage every individual to decide for themselves what level of threat they are willing to encounter.
We take the normal precautions that any traveler should take:
- we travel in groups whenever possible - multiple cars caravan together
- we travel in ordinary vehicles- no special markings or logos
- we don't get lost easily - our drivers know how to get to Estado 29 without following anyone, checking maps or asking for directions
- we travel directly to the orphanage and then directly home, we don't allow side-trips
- we pass quickly around Tijuana in the company of many other US and Mexican vehicles
- we use well-traveled roads (toll road 1-D and highway 3) and travel only in daylight
- we do not carry cash or valuable goods. Trip funds are sent to the orphanage sometime prior to our trip by bank wire-transfer.
Additional information is found here:
United States Embassy in Mexico Security Update
We always encounter military checkpoints on the trip. These checkpoints are now heavily manned by the Mexican military, wearing military uniforms and carrying semi-automatic weapons. There has been no reason to be worried at these checkpoints. They are looking for drugs, weapons. We are usually stopped; we explain where we've been and they often have us get out so they can look inside the car. If one of our vehicles is stopped longer than the others, we will wait a short way down the road for them to catch up.
Sometimes they wear black stocking face masks. We assume that this is to protect their identity for concern of vengeance attacks by those who might identify them. They are engaged a vicious battle and many police and military men have been murdered for it.
One humorous incident: many years ago we we're stopped and our car was inspected more thoroughly than usual by one of the soldiers. When asked why, he answered "because my boss is watching!".
The stakes are much higher now but they are always very polite.