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Sections of Mexico unsafe for travel, consulate issues warning
The story starts back to August of last year when bodies were found in mass graves at a ranch in San Fernando, Tamaulipas in Mexico, just 90 miles south of Brownsville, Texas. Buses heading north towards the U.S. were stopped and boarded by gunmen who demanded identification then took Mexican national passengers away. Authorities have not confirmed but believe the intent was to hold them for ransom or use them to smuggle drugs into the U.S. 72 bodies were found then.
"The investigation is in progress and we must be very careful, especially not to cause alarm among the population that is worried about the whereabouts of their loved ones, but we can deduce that, unfortunately, that they are fellow Mexicans," said Morelos Canseco Gomez, a top security official in the northern state of Tamaulipas reports CNN.
If you have been keeping up with the news you know that Mazatlan, Mexico has been in the spotlight recently as cruise lines stopped calling there over safety concerns. Gadling readers both agree and disagree with the decision by major cruise lines to stop calling in Mazatlan and the general safety level in the country saying:
"There is no place in Mexico that is safe right now. Death is random as well as directed toward a target. Collateral damage happens anywhere there is some beef between these diablos"
"I'm glad to see some cruise lines are not putting their passengers and crew in harms way by avoiding certain vacation destinations. As tourists we should withhold our travel dollars until safety and security become a necessity and not a luxury."
"Americans are being targeted in Mexico -- and murdered. These murders are occurring in taxis, at airports, and on the streets. Rich Americans are fleeing Mexico for their lives."
"I agree stay the hell away from Mexico...i went there in November and all you do is get hassled to buy stuff...drug...whores...anything"
Here is the travel alert issued late Friday by U.S. consulate officials:
"The United States Consulates General in Matamoros, Nuevo Laredo, and Monterrey advise American citizens that the U.S. government has received uncorroborated information that Mexican criminal gangs may intend to attack U.S. law enforcement officers or U.S. citizens in the near future in Tamaulipas, Nuevo León and San Luis Potosi. This information is being distributed to all U.S. government employees in the three states. No other information is available. If more detailed information is developed, we will advise American citizens immediately."
As Mexico's war against drugs continues, look for travel alerts and warnings to continue also. be prepared for transportation companies to cancel routes and itineraries too, also concerned over the safety of their personnel and passengers. How much of that will happen is uncertain, but many agree, Mexico needs to gain control of the situation for the protection of it's citizens and visitors.
"The mass graves found yesterday once again show the Mexican government's failure to deal with the country's public security crisis and reduce criminal violence, which has left many populations vulnerable to attacks, abductions and killings," said Rupert Knox, a researcher on Mexico at Amnesty International told CNN. "All too often, such human rights crimes have gone unpunished, leaving criminal gangs and officials acting in collusion with them free to target vulnerable communities, such as irregular migrants."