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Last update 4 weeks ago
Travelers warned to reconsider travel, government worried about crimes and kidnappings in the region
The US Department of State has issued a new travel advisory for US citizens visiting Tijuana and Baja California. The update comes after recent cases of kidnapping and violence in the region.
The change was made just two weeks after the US Bureau of Consular Affairs announced that it had lowered the travel advisory for Mexico from “Level 4: Do not travel” to “Level 3: Reconsider travel.”
The government is concerned about rising crime and recent kidnappings that include murder and violent assaults. the official publication states: “Transnational criminal organizations compete in the border area to establish drug trafficking and human smuggling routes. Violent crime and gang activity are common. Travelers should stay on major highways and avoid remote locations.”
Many Americans have traveled in recent weeks to Tijuana also to cheapest gas prices, as the Los Angeles Times reported. Anyone visiting the region, even for a short period of time, should be aware and follow the State Department’s recommendations.
Risks for travelers in Tijuana
According to information shared by the US Department, the greatest concern is directed towards the non-touristy areas of Tijuana, where a high number of homicides have been reported recently. The government explained that most homicides were targeted, but bystanders could be injured or even killed in territorial disputes between criminal organizations.
It has also been reported that citizens and lawful permanent residents of the United States have been kidnapped victims.
The president of the Tijuana Chamber of Commerce, Jorge Macías Jiménez, made statements to fox 5after the US government shared this update: “The warning is primarily for areas where tourists would not go in the first place, it will not harm tourism or the commercial sector.”
Macías Jimenez considers that the warning should not scare tourists away and said: “I advise people to exercise caution as there are areas where criminal disputes sometimes result in the injury or even death of passersby, but this is only if you venture into areas not touristy.”
Travel considerations and recommendations
The US Department of State also shared recommendations and advice and urged US government officials to follow the restrictions. These are the current thoughts on Baja California:
- Avoid Mexicali Valley: The agency urges Americans to avoid this area due to the “increased possibility of violence between rival cartel factions.”
- Travelers can use Highways 2 and 2D —during the day— to travel between Mexicali, Los Algodones and San Luis Rios Colorado. Also during the day, visitors can use Highways 1, 8 and 5.
- Reconsider traveling to Baja California: the government asks US citizens to especially avoid non-touristy areas.
Travelers should read and understand the information posted on the government’s official website when visiting Mexico. General Mexico travel recommendations include:
- Do not travel between cities at night. Travelers shouldn’t hail taxis on the street, it’s best to rely on dispatched vehicles, app-based services and regulated taxi ranks.
- Avoid traveling alone, especially in remote areas.
- do not travel to States of Colima, Guerrero, Michoacan, Sinaloa and Tamaulipas due to crime and kidnapping.
- Reconsider travel to States of Baja California, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Durango, Guanajuato, Jalisco, Mexico, Morelos, Nayarit, Sonora and Zacatecas due to crime and kidnapping.
- Increase caution when traveling to Aguas Calientes, Baja California Sur, Chiapas, Hidalgo, Nuevo León, Oaxaca, Puebla, Querétaro, Quintana Roo, San Luis Potosí, Tabasco, Tlaxcal and Veracruz and Mexico City due to crime and kidnapping.
- Review the US Embassy, CDC, and Crime and Security Reports on Mexico web pages.
- Be extra careful when visiting local bars, casinos or nightclubs.
- Keep family and travel companions informed of location and travel plans.
- Follow the US Department of State and the US Embassy on Facebook and Twitter.
- Avoid wearing watches or jewelry, as these are considered signs of wealth.
See More information:
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions may change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Please contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm entry of your nationality and/or any changes to travel requirements prior to travel. Travel Off Path does not endorse travel against government warnings