It's not quite "stay out", but the latest State Department warnings about
travel in Mexico are pretty stiff. For example: "The situation in northern Mexico remains fluid; the location and
timing of future armed engagements cannot be predicted
While most of the crime
victims are Mexican citizens, the uncertain security situation poses risks for
U.S. citizens as well."
2008: Government officials reported 21 prisoners died in a prison riot in
Reynosa (Tamaulipas state). A fight between two inmate groups started the riot.
Twelve other prisoners were injured. The
fighting may be gang related.
2008: The government put the death toll in the Cartel War for the first two
weeks of October 2008 at "almost 400" (387 according to one unofficial count).
Since January 2008 almost 3800 people have been killed in Cartel War-related
violence. Most of the deaths have occurred in northern Mexico, which is the
major drug war battlefield.
2008: The US Congress has authorized over $400 million in support funds to help
Mexico combat drug gangs and achieve security goals. So far no money has been
spent. Mexico and the US must sign a "bilateral letter of agreement" in order
for the US funds to be disbursed. The US State Department indicated that the
letter of agreement will be signed "shortly," and the Merida Initiative "package" would be implemented soon. Spill-over violence in the U.S., from
Mexico's Cartel War is occurring. Some of these groups (ie, gangs) not only
engage in crime and violence not only in Mexico and along the border, but they
come across and kidnap, murder and carry out assassinations. These groups do
not respect the border. To make matters worse, Venezuela and Bolivia are not
cooperating in the fight against narcotics traffickers.
2008: Six people were found shot dead in Ciudad Juarez (Chihuahua state).
According to police, the people had been lined up against a wall and were
murdered "execution style" in a hail of more than one hundred bullets. Ciudad
Juarez is across the border from El Paso, Texas.
security officials arrested a police officer and a member of the Sinaloa drug
cartel for involvement in the murder of
24 people on September 12, 2008 near Mexico City. The police officer was the
police commander in the town of Huixquilucan. Allegedly, the police commander
helped kidnap the victims and then turned them over to the cartel member for
2008: The government said two men launched a grenade attack on the US consulate
in the city of Monterrey. There were no injuries. The attack, however, is one
designed to get the attention of the US government and possibly appeal to
anti-US sentiment in Mexico.
2008: Mexico City experienced two very bloody days with over two-dozen people
dying in violent incidents. The death toll included two federal security
officers and a journalist. In Chihuahua City (Chihuahua state) 11 people were
killed when four gunmen broke into a bar and opened fire on the customers.
Seven other people were wounded. A journalist was also killed in that incident.