December 8, 2016- Updated Mexico Travel Warning
The U.S. Department of State warns U.S. citizens about the risk of traveling to certain parts of Mexico due to the activities of criminal organizations in those areas.U.S. citizens have been the victims of violent crimes, including homicide, kidnapping, carjacking, and robbery in various Mexican states. This Travel Warning replaces the Travel Warning for Mexico, issued April 15, 2016.
For information on security conditions in specific regions of Mexico, see our state-by-state assessments below. U.S. government personnel and their families are prohibited from personal travel to all areas to which the Department recommends “defer non-essential travel” in this Travel Warning. As a result of security precautions that U.S. government personnel must take while traveling to parts of Mexico, our response time to emergencies involving U.S. citizens may be hampered or delayed.
Gun battles between rival criminal organizations or with Mexican authorities have taken place on streets and in public places during broad daylight. The Mexican government dedicates substantial resources to protect visitors to major tourist destinations and has engaged in an extensive effort to counter criminal organizations that engage in narcotics trafficking and other unlawful activities throughout Mexico. There is no evidence that criminal organizations have targeted U.S. citizens based on their nationality. Resort areas and tourist destinations in Mexico generally do not see the level of drug-related violence and crime that are reported in the border region or in areas along major trafficking routes.
U.S. government personnel are prohibited from patronizing casinos, sports books, or other gambling establishments in the states of Coahuila, Durango, Zacatecas, Aguascalientes, San Luis Potosi, Nuevo Leon, Tamaulipas, Jalisco, Colima and Nayarit.
Kidnappings in Mexico take the following forms:
- Traditional: victim is physically abducted and held captive until a ransom is paid for release.
- Express: victim is abducted for a short time and commonly forced to
withdraw money, usually from an ATM, then released.
- Virtual: an extortion-by-deception scheme where a victim is contacted by
phone and coerced by threats of violence to provide phone numbers of
family and friends, and then isolated until the ransom is paid. Recently, hotel guests have been targets of such “virtual” kidnapping schemes.
U.S. citizens have been murdered in carjacking and highway robberies, most frequently at night and on isolated roads. Carjackers use a variety of techniques, including roadblocks, bumping/moving vehicles to force them to stop, and running vehicles off the road at high speeds. There are indications that criminals target newer and larger vehicles, but drivers of old sedans and buses coming from the United States are also targeted. U.S. government personnel are prohibited from intercity travel after dark in many areas of Mexico. U.S. citizens should use toll roads (cuotas) whenever possible. In remote areas, cell phone coverage is limited or non-existent.
The Mexican government has deployed federal police and military personnel throughout the country as part of its efforts to combat organized criminal groups. U.S. citizens traveling on Mexican roads and highways by car or bus may encounter government checkpoints, staffed by military or law enforcement personnel. In some places, criminal organizations have erected their own unauthorized checkpoints, at times wearing police and military uniforms, and have killed or abducted motorists who have failed to stop at them. You should cooperate at all checkpoints.
State-by-State Assessment: Below is a state-by-state assessment of security conditions in Mexico where ISEP has member universities. Travelers should be mindful that even if no advisories are in effect for a given state, U.S. citizens should exercise caution throughout Mexico as crime and violence can still occur. For general information about travel and other conditions in Mexico, see U.S. State Department Country Specific Information.
Guanajuato (includes San Miguel de Allende and Leon): No advisory is in effect.
Jalisco (includes Guadalajara, Puerto Vallarta, and Lake Chapala): U.S. citizens should defer non-essential travel to areas that border the states of Michoacan and Zacatecas because of continued instability. U.S. government personnel are prohibited from personal travel to areas of Jalisco that border Zacatecas, intercity travel after hours, and from using Highway 80 between Cocula and La Huerta. U.S. government personnel are authorized to use Federal toll road 15D for travel to Mexico City; however, they may not stop in the town of La Barca or Ocotlan for any reason.
Mexico City (also known as the Federal District): No advisory is in effect.
Nuevo Leon (includes Monterrey): U.S. government personnel may travel outside the city of Monterrey only during daylight hours on toll roads, and must return to the city of San Pedro Garza Garcia municipal boundaries to abide by the Embassy-imposed curfew of 1 a.m. and 6 a.m., except for travel to the airport after 5 a.m.
Puebla: No advisory is in effect.
We continue to monitor the situation and are in constant contact with our ISEP Coordinators in Mexico. All ISEP Programs in Mexico continue as scheduled and ISEP continues to accept applications for these programs.
PAST TRAVEL WARNINGS
April 18, 2016 - Mexico Travel Warning
ISEP is aware of the revised issued Travel Warning for Mexico by the United States Department of State on April 15, 2016. We continue to monitor the situation and are in constant contact with our ISEP Coordinators in Mexico. All ISEP Programs in Mexico continue as scheduled and ISEP continues to accept applications for these programs. To consult sites open for application, please visit our homepage.
April 15, 2016 - Mexico Travel Warning
A Travel Warning Was Issued for Mexico by the United States Department of State. Aware and vigilant of this warming, we will continue to monitor the situation and will be in constant contact with our ISEP Coordinators in Mexico, if the situation changes.
All ISEP Programs in Mexico continue as scheduled and ISEP continues to accept applications for these programs.
February 3, 2016 - Mexico Travel Warning
ISEP is aware of the revised issued Travel Warning for Mexico by the United States Department of State on January 19, 2016. We continue to monitor the situation and are in constant contact with our ISEP Coordinators in Mexico. All ISEP Programs in Mexico continue as scheduled and ISEP continues to accept applications for these programs.