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Guest shelley

Nuevo Laredo

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Guest shelley

Here are the latest warnings for Nuevo Laredo - as of 12:00 3 Mar

The U.S. Consulate in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, reiterated a warning to Americans on Tuesday to avoid the border city because of an "an ongoing gunbattle" near the municipal zoo. Long-standing tensions between the Gulf drug cartel and its former employees, the paramilitary Zetas group, broke into open warfare in recent days, officials have said. At least 30 people have been reported killed in Tamaulipas state and neighboring Nuevo León state, both of which border Texas.

The warning asks Americans to "take precautions until the fighting subsides. U.S. citizens should stay current with media coverage of local events." But Mexican media outlets, under cartel threats, have been largely silent, leaving residents to share information on online social networking sites http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/news/world/mexico/stories/DN-drugshort_03int.ART.State.Edition1.4bb1a17.html

And Texas Public Safety has also issue warnings for all border cities (I assume bordering Texas) http://www.krgv.com/news/local/story/DPS-Urges-Spring-Break-Travelers-to-Avoid-Mexico/VKok0p27XESG6_kNkw6z2w.cspx

And here is an interesting article - but who knows if fact or fiction - 3 Mar

CHANNEL 5 NEWS learned the Zetas are out of Reynosa tonight.

They've moved about 150 miles west to Nuevo Laredo. Our intelligence sources tell us the group wants to take over the city and make it their base of operations.

The U.S. Consulate General's office has already confirmed a gunbattle in Nuevo Laredo. It's happening near Boulevard Colosio and the city's zoo. The consulate general's office is telling all U.S. citizens to take shelter until the fighting stops.

CHANNEL 5 NEWS learned the Zetas are already calling in reinforcements. We're told 700 Zetas from around Mexico are joining the 500 already brought to the area last week.

The Gulf Cartel also called in reinforcements last week. CHANNEL 5 NEWS learned they joined forces with two rival cartels, La Familia Michoacana (LFM) and the Sinaloa Cartel.

Our sources tell us the Sinaloa Cartel and LFM have a deep hatred of the Zetas. They could also benefit by getting a cut of the Valley's drug smuggling business.

It was a rough week for the border. CHANNEL 5 NEWS was following an explosion of shootouts and grenade attacks in northern Tamualipas.

Violence was reported in border cities like Valle Hermoso, Reynosa, Guerrero, Miguel Aleman, Ciudad Mier, and Valadeces. According to the Mexican military and CHANNEL 5 NEWS sources, last week's violence left at least 23 people dead.

Our sources tell us it was triggered when a Gulf Cartel member murdered a Zeta leader on January 18. The Zetas demanded the Gulf Cartel hand over the killer.

When that didn't happen, the Zetas kidnapped 16 Gulf Cartel members in Miguel Aleman. We're told that led to the shootouts up and down the border.

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On 2/19 there was a gun battle (balacera)in Nuevo Laredo. It happened on the main street through town (Guerrero) and extended for about 1 mile, ending in front the HEB. Since then there have been constant rumors that are causing panic in the city about a renewal of the war that almost destroyed the economy of the city back in 2003-05. Since the local press does not report these incidents it is difficult to know with any certainty what is going on. This article from Milenio de Monterrey however sheds some light on recent events and it looks like all of Tamaulipas may be in for some tough sledding.

Acuerdo Tres Cárteles

There have been recent clashes along major highways between the Zetas and the army, two of which are linked. Nuevo Laredo is not the only place affected since the principals of the Zetas and the Gulf cartel are located in the Reynosa/Matamoros area. Most people in Nuevo Laredo are not travelling to the interior if they can avoid it. The attachment is a copy of directive from the military commander in this zone to the governors of Tamaulipas and Nuevo Leon which someone sent me. The government at least is taking the situation seriously. Consider it for what it's worth.

Anahuac es Zona de Guerra. 10 Muertos

Clash between Army and Zetas

20100305093206415.pdf

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I read the news report that was linked and there was no gun battle along Colosio near the zoo. As I said there are rumors flying around through text and twitter that are reporting all sorts of things. What is clear though is that something pretty heavy is going on and it would probably be best for people to avoid the border area from Piedras Negras to Matamoros if they don't need to be there. For those of us who live in the Mexican border towns we are just going to have to tough it out and be extra careful.

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We drove through there yesterday, and chose to cross at Colombia rather than travel through Nuevo Laredo. For what it is worth, there were many Federales along the road, a couple of checkpoints going South, and we passed two Army convoys heading North with well over 200 soldiers. The border crossing was very quiet, which may be a result of the heightened concerns of travelers, but we wanted to get home.

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We drove through there yesterday, and chose to cross at Colombia rather than travel through Nuevo Laredo.

Ironically most of the unverified incidents (rumors) are being reported on the portion of Hwy. 2 that runs from the World Trade Bridge (Bridge III) to the Highway 85 (Autopista to Monterrey) interchange. There was reportedly a balacera between the army and delinquentes (ie. Zetas) on Thursday and reports of trucks being used to block the northbound lanes of the highway earlier in the week. If someone has to travel through Nuevo Laredo I would advise taking the Coloso Loop to Bridge II, which is a much shorter route than detouring to Columbia bridge anyway. There is far more likely to be trouble on Highway 2 than in Nuevo Laredo itself.

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Latest Travel Advisory

U.S. Consulate General of the United States of America

Monterrey, N.L., Mexico

March 5, 2010

WARDEN MESSAGE

The U.S. Consulate General in Monterrey wishes to inform American citizens

of recent changes it has made with regard to its travel policy. Effectively

immediately, we are deferring temporary, non-essential travel by U.S. government

employees to destinations in the outlying parts of Nuevo Leon due to the recent

deterioration of the security situation in the border region. In addition, as a

precautionary measure only, we are limiting temporary, non-essential travel by

U.S. government employees to the Monterrey metro area.

There have been numerous confirmed reports of deadly gun battles taking

place in and around the cities of Nuevo Laredo and Reynosa in the neighboring

state of Tamaulipas and in small towns of Nuevo Leon that are north and east of

Monterrey. There have also been incidents where drug trafficking organizations

have set up vehicle “checkpoints,†including on major highways that link

Monterrey with the U.S. border. Gunfights have occurred in outlying cities in

Nuevo Leon state, including municipalities such as China, Los Ramones, Cerralvo,

and Anahuac. Within the Monterrey metro area, there have been recent grenade

attacks on the police headquarters in San Nicolas, Apodaca, Guadalupe,

Cadereyta, Escobedo, Allende and Santiago and an increase in carjackings in the

city and on the highways, including an incident involving a U.S. citizen on the

toll (cuota) highway to Reynosa.

U.S. citizens are urged to avoid travel by road from Monterrey to Nuevo

Laredo and Reynosa due to heightened risk of violence on the roads between

Monterrey and the border. As noted in the most recent Travel Alert for Mexico

dated February 22, 2010, U.S. citizens are also advised to defer travel to the

state of Durango and the area in Coahuila known commonly as “La Laguna,â€

which includes the city of Torreon. This guidance also applies to non-essential

travel for official Americans to those areas. U.S. citizens choosing to travel

to these areas should exercise extreme caution.

U.S. citizens are advised to take the above information into consideration

when making any decisions concerning travel through Monterrey’s consular

district by road. Review of recent violence suggests that although criminal

acts and violence can occur unexpectedly at any time of day, trends suggest that

overall it may be safer during the morning and early afternoon hours.

Travelers by land should seriously consider embarking on their trips outside of

these “peak†time periods when these incidents have tended to occur. Prior

to making any trip, Americans should stay current with media coverage of events

in the areas through which they will travel.

U.S. citizens residing in the consular district should exercise heightened

personal security practices, and monitor local news carefully. Avoid areas

reported in the news to be the site of armed confrontations, and remain indoors

away from windows anytime gunfire is heard. Vary routes and times for travel to

work and school and let family, friends or colleagues know where you are at all

times. During encounters with Mexican police and military, U.S. citizens are

reminded to comply with all given instructions and avoid engaging in any

behavior which could be misinterpreted and heighten their risk.

U.S. citizen travelers and residents alike are encouraged to review the

Department of State publication, “A Safe Trip Abroad,†which can be found at

http://travel.state.gov/travel/tips/safety/safety_1747.html. This publication

goes into detail on personal security practices individuals may employ to make

their trip or stay as safe as possible.

U.S. citizens are encouraged to refer to guidance in the Department of

State’s most recent Travel Alert for Mexico located on the internet at

http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/pa/pa_4491.html and Country Specific

Information for Mexico, which can be found at

http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_970.html for additional

information regarding the current security situation in the country.

For any emergencies involving U.S. citizens in Mexico, please contact the

U.S. Embassy or the closest U.S. Consulate. U.S. citizens in Monterrey’s

consular district may contact the American Citizens Services (ACS) Unit at the

U.S. Consulate General in Monterrey, located at 411 Avenida Constitución

Poniente; telephone (81) 8047-3100; after hours emergency telephone 044 (81)

8362-9126 (from Mexico); ACS unit fax (81) 8342-5433; e-mail

MonterreyACS@...; web page http://monterrey.usconsulate.gov.

J

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Thanks (I think) to the reader who posted the recent information from the Consulate in Monterrey.

In view of all of this, just wondering what other folks heading NOB in the near future who need to cross the border in Texas plan to do with regard to travel routes. To avoid travel on the road from Monterrey to Nuevo Laredo and Reynosa is a big problem if one is headed to the Midwestern U.S. And taking the Colombia crossing still requires travel on the Monterrey-Nuevo Laredo autopista for more than 100 km to reach the Colombia exit. Also, from what another reader posted, it sounds like there are just as many risks on the road between the autopista and the Colombia Bridge. The Piedras Negras crossing doesn't sound any better.

I sure don't plan to stop overnight at our usual hotel--El Rancho Express--on the Monterrey-NL autopista. Maybe someplace in Saltillo instead.

I e-mailed the Monterrey Consulate and asked if they could suggest the least risky options for routes and crossings. But haven't heard from them yet.

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Thanks (I think) to the reader who posted the recent information from the Consulate in Monterrey.

In view of all of this, just wondering what other folks heading NOB in the near future who need to cross the border in Texas plan to do with regard to travel routes. To avoid travel on the road from Monterrey to Nuevo Laredo and Reynosa is a big problem if one is headed to the Midwestern U.S. And taking the Colombia crossing still requires travel on the Monterrey-Nuevo Laredo autopista for more than 100 km to reach the Colombia exit. Also, from what another reader posted, it sounds like there are just as many risks on the road between the autopista and the Colombia Bridge. The Piedras Negras crossing doesn't sound any better.

I sure don't plan to stop overnight at our usual hotel--El Rancho Express--on the Monterrey-NL autopista. Maybe someplace in Saltillo instead.

I e-mailed the Monterrey Consulate and asked if they could suggest the least risky options for routes and crossings. But haven't heard from them yet.

Travel during daylight hours and take the roads most traveled. We make the drive in one day, leaving here around 6 a.m. and hit the border about 4 p.m. Went North at the end of January and returned last Friday. Coming South we saw no police or Army at all from the Colombia bridge until we were on the main highway from Laredo to Monterrey. We would normally stop overnight in Laredo on the way home, but I didn't want to be driving in Nuevo Laredo before daylight, so we spent the night before in San Antonio, and got to the border about 8:30 a.m. I'm not sure how much credence you can place on the various reports of incidents along the road. We have Mexican plated vehicles, if that is worth anything. We were stopped by the police in Texas (going 80 in a 75 zone at 8:00 a.m.) and I feel that because of the Mexican plates, he thought he might have some fun, then seem disappointed when he discovered we were not Mexican, and gave us a written warning. That's the closest to being hassled we had on this trip.

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We're about to return to Lakeside from the RGV and the news this morning reported a gun battle yesterday afternoon in Reynosa. The druggies have set up "checkpoints" on the highway between Monterrey and Reynosa for the purpose of robbing people.

We decided to cross at Nuevo Progreso and will hopefully avoid most of Reynosa. It is really sad as the people there used to benefit from the many snowbirds here shopping in Reynosa. People in the RV park here said that pretty much everyone has stopped going there and many won't even go to Progreso.

We'll breathe a lot easier once we get a few hundred miles south of the border.

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Guest shelley

This is from the Dallas Morning News

U.S. Consulate in Monterrey, Mexico warns Americans to avoid travel on highways to Reynosa, Nuevo Laredo

12:00 AM CST on Wednesday, March 10, 2010

San Antonio Express-News

BROWNSVILLE – Citing gunbattles, grenade attacks and "checkpoints" operated by Mexican drug cartels, the U.S. Consulate in Monterrey is warning U.S. residents to avoid travel on highways between Monterrey and two cities on the border with Texas, Reynosa and Nuevo Laredo.

U.S. citizens who must travel the roads should do so only during daylight hours, the consulate said.

In a message issued late last week, the consulate told U.S. government employees to defer all nonessential travel to outlying parts of the state of Nuevo León because of the "deteriorating security situation."

The violence is attributed to an ongoing battle between the Gulf cartel and its former enforcers, the Zetas, over trafficking routes to the Texas border. The gunbattles began in mid-February, ending a period of relative quiet for areas across the Rio Grande from Hidalgo, Starr, and Webb counties.

The violence also prompted an unprecedented Texas Department of Public Safety warning urging college students not to cross the border during this month's Spring Break.

The consulate said gunfights have occurred in outlying towns in Nuevo León, and grenade attacks have been reported on several police headquarters in the Monterrey area.

Here is a link that discusses the reasons for the violence - http://www.themonitor.com/articles/gulf-36258-arrangement-reynosa.html

And here is a site that seems to have updated twitter info - http://interceder.net/news/Nuevo-Laredo

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I'm not sure how much credence you can place on the various reports of incidents along the road.

And I'm not sure how much credence one can put on what people do not see during the span of a couple of hours on a single day. There was a balacera between the Army and a group of delinquentes last night at a restaurant alongside the Monterrey-Reynosa autopista near China, N.L. that left at least one dead. Things are tense in the border towns now and there has definately been a nasty split between the Zetas and the Gulf Cartel. That doesn't necessarily mean ex-pats should avoid traveling through the border area, but people locally are certainly not traveling as normal.

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Have heard on the news that those Mexicans who can (rich) are moving to cities in the US

News story on TV this morning that they are selling a lot of homes in the Mission area (near the Reynosa bridge) to Mexicans.

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And I'm not sure how much credence one can put on what people do not see during the span of a couple of hours on a single day. There was a balacera between the Army and a group of delinquentes last night at a restaurant alongside the Monterrey-Reynosa autopista near China, N.L. that left at least one dead. Things are tense in the border towns now and there has definately been a nasty split between the Zetas and the Gulf Cartel. That doesn't necessarily mean ex-pats should avoid traveling through the border area, but people locally are certainly not traveling as normal.

I wasn't suggesting there were no incidents, only that the reports on this web board are contradictory as to where the occurrences have been, and it is difficult to know where the hot spots might be at the time one is making the trip. I was also not suggesting that my brief experience was somehow demonstrative of an absence of violence, but, when I first posted that I had avoided Nuevo Laredo and had used Colombia, someone posted that the problems were actually not on Periferico Colosio as had been reported, but were on the road from the Colombia Bridge to Nuevo Laredo.

I do believe that the "safest" time is during daylight hours, probably in the morning, when hopefully the bad guys are sleeping. And the safest routes are those that are well traveled. But, remember, there are no guarantees in life. There were some gunfights in the malls and streets of Edmonton before we left, as well as after.

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I wasn't suggesting there were no incidents, only that the reports on this web board are contradictory as to where the occurrences have been, and it is difficult to know where the hot spots might be at the time one is making the trip.

I live in Nuevo Laredo and unfortunately there is no local media coverage about what is happening. The reports we have are mostly unverified rumors and there are plenty of them. Most of the rumors though (road blocks, shooting incidents) place the problems in the areas west and south of Nuevo Laredo between the Columbia Bridge/World Trade Bridge and Highways 2 and 85. I drive Coloso from Bridge II to the Paseo Colon exit twice a day and I have seen nothing, except regular army patrols.

These incidents can occur at any time or place. Neither the Zetas nor the Army restrict their movements to any particular time of day. The worst verified incident occurred at Anahuac (40 miles SW of Nuevo Laredo)at mid-day. From what I gather from various media, there are more problems in Reynosa than Nuevo Laredo.

The chances of any individual traveler being a victim is slight, but certainly not impossible. I would not worry so much about being targeted as getting caught in the middle of something. I would stay on the autopista and take Coloso to Bridge II if you have to travel this way. I have never understood the attraction of Columbia Bridge and I would recommend to avoid that area now.

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Arroyo Grande--it is very valuable to receive information from someone who actually lives in the Nuevo Laredo area. Thanks.

I do have a couple of questions:

First, you mentioned that many problems have occurred on the road between the Colombia/World Trade Bridges and Hwy. 2 and 85. I don't have a map in front of me at the moment, but can you tell me more about where this problem area is? From past trips, I sort of remember that the exit from the autopista for the Colombia Bridge is Hwy. 2. As I enter that road going toward Colombia, how far is the intersection with Hwy. 85?

I think that the appeal of the Colombia crossing for many (including me) is that it is much faster than sitting on the Laredo Bridges. However, if crossing at Nuevo Laredo is safer, I'm for it.

Your direction for the Nuevo Laredo Bridge II is to stay on the autopista and then take "Coloso to Bridge II." Is Coloso clearly sign posted? We haven't used the Nuevo Laredo crossing going northbound for so long that I've forgotten the route. I remember getting lost in N.L. a couple of times in the "old days" and am somewhat apprehensive.

Thanks again for your help!

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I do have a couple of questions:

First, you mentioned that many problems have occurred on the road between the Colombia/World Trade Bridges and Hwy. 2 and 85. I don't have a map in front of me at the moment, but can you tell me more about where this problem area is? From past trips, I sort of remember that the exit from the autopista for the Colombia Bridge is Hwy. 2.

Your direction for the Nuevo Laredo Bridge II is to stay on the autopista and then take "Coloso to Bridge II."

I would suggest going to Google maps and pull up Nuevo Laredo. You should be able to see where Highway 2 intersects with Hwy 85 to Monterrey and runs both east (to Reynosa) and west (to Columbia Bridge and Piedras Negras). Most of the reported trouble is on the stretch of Hwy 2 that runs from Highway 85 on the loop around west NL. Hwy 2 veers to the left and joins with a major road coming out of NL about 10 miles downriver from Columbia bridge.

On that same map to get to Coloso you would continue straight on 85 rather than exit to the west on Hwy 2. About 8 miles further north you will pass a Mitsubshi dealership on the right. The exit after that is the exit to Coloso which is a loop that runs from Bridge II to Highway 85. There should be signage indicating Coloso and Int. Bridge II. The first light on the acess road is Coloso. Turn right and it is about 8 miles of divided highway with only one traffic light. Coloso goes straight to Bridge II.

I understand why ex-pats use Columbia. But it is basically a long detour around Nuevo Laredo and is even longer now since the road from Columbia to IH 35 is part of the Tx Tag system and not an open toll road. It is rarely more than a 25 minute wait at Bridge II unless you hit it in the morning rush hour or on weekends. There is even less traffic now with the current scare going on.

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Hi Arroyo Grande,

Just sent you email off list regarding my future plans to travel through Laredo soon.

Hope you will continue keeping us informed of what appears to be happening near you.

Would like to stay in contact with you for my planning purposes.

Thanks,

Glen

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Hi Arroyo Grande,

Just sent you email off list regarding my future plans to travel through Laredo soon.

Hope you will continue keeping us informed of what appears to be happening near you.

Would like to stay in contact with you for my planning purposes.

Thanks,

Glen

You will want to read the thread called "Laredo to Lakeside", under the Ajijic/Chapala forum, as well. Important, current information is included in the posts.

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Hi More Liana,

Thanks, I have read that thread also. My schedule is to leave Ajijic around the 25th or so and pass thru Laredo.

I would like to find someone making the same trip and perhaps "Convoy" with them..

OR, if someone needs a ride, get in touch.

Glen

You will want to read the thread called "Laredo to Lakeside", under the Ajijic/Chapala forum, as well. Important, current information is included in the posts.

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Hi Arroyo Grande,

Just sent you email off list regarding my future plans to travel through Laredo soon.

Hope you will continue keeping us informed of what appears to be happening near you.

Would like to stay in contact with you for my planning purposes.

Thanks,

Glen

There is not much to report because there is no local and little regional media coverage of current events. What I can tell you is that there is an increased army presence in the Nuevo Laredo area. People I consider fairly credible on this side of the border confirm that there has been a split between the Zetas and the Gulf Cartel and it will most likely result in violence. The goal of the government is to minimize the danger to the general public. The worst incidents are taking place in the Reynosa area. The rumors and the panic that swept over Nuevo Laredo a couple of weeks ago has subsided somewhat but everyone is still pretty cautious. Memories of the Gulf/Zeta vs. Sinaloa cartel war of 2003-05 are still fresh and this one looks like more of the same.

I know on ex-pat boards it is anathema to suggest using anything other than Columbia bridge, but I would avoid that area. Most of the rumored incidents have occurred south and west of the city including some on the stretch along Highway 2 between the autopista and Columbia bridge. Taking Coloso to Bridge II is shorter anyway and except at peak times much quicker than detouring to Columbia.

I saw nothing particularly new or informative on the other thread mentioned.

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ATTN: LEEM

I received your PM about a "Convoy to Laredo", but when I replied to it, your email address "BOUNCED"

Possibly you may need to update the email address in your Profile here?

Glen

Hi More Liana,

Thanks, I have read that thread also. My schedule is to leave Ajijic around the 25th or so and pass thru Laredo.

I would like to find someone making the same trip and perhaps "Convoy" with them..

OR, if someone needs a ride, get in touch.

Glen

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