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Security Alert: U.S. Embassy Mexico City (July 13, 2021)


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ACSMexicoCity@state.gov

9:46 AM (1 hour ago)
 
 
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Location:  Highway 85D between Nuevo Laredo and Monterrey

Event:  In response to reports of increased criminal activity, Mexican authorities have increased police patrols along Highway 85D in Tamaulipas and Nuevo Leon.  As a result, travelers might encounter additional police checkpoints causing unexpected delays.  Tamaulipas is rated Level 4 – Do Not Travel due to crime and kidnapping.  Organized crime activity—including gun battles, murder, armed robbery, carjacking, kidnapping, forced disappearances, extortion, and sexual assault—is common along the northern border of Tamaulipas and in Ciudad Victoria.  Criminal groups target public and private passenger buses, as well as private automobiles traveling through Tamaulipas, often taking passengers and demanding ransom payments.

Actions to Take:

  • Travel during daylight hours and avoid unnecessary stops.
  • Keep your loved ones informed about your travel plans and progress as you travel.
  • Travel with a charged and functional cell phone capable of making calls in Mexico.
  • Use toll (“cuota”) roads rather than the less secure free (“libre”) roads whenever possible.
  • Do not hitchhike or accept rides from or offer rides to strangers anywhere in Mexico.
  • Travelers encountering police or security checkpoints should comply with instructions.
  • See the U.S. Embassy's web page regarding COVID-19.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.

Assistance: 

  • For Emergency Assistance for U.S. citizens in Mexico, call (55) 8526 2561 from Mexico or 1-844-528-6611 from the United States.
  • State Department – Consular Affairs:  888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Follow the U.S. Embassy in Mexico on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Review the Crime and Safety Reports for Mexico.
  • Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations.  Review the Traveler’s Checklist.
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The problem has been mostly on the free road, and the majority stopped were commercial vehicles not in daylight hours.  After 7 months of people complaining and marching in the streets in Monterrey it became a news item.  

Thousands of trucks and cars pass daily on the two highways from Monterrey to Nuevo Laredo.  Both the toll road and the libre are being heavily patrolled now. If you travel in daylight hours the chance you will have an accident is much higher than the chance you will have a problem with criminals.

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1) Although this 'Alert' seems to have been issued just today, this has been going on and reported for 'weeks'.  Why now?

2) I have decided that the State Department is mainly just covering their a$$es by issuing these Alerts. But they are, IMO, similar to calling out 'wolf'. After one reads so many of them, wherein the situation seemingly is dire but there never seems to be a significantly real problems to US Citizens, one just sort of disregards the 'alert'.

3) This one suggests that there is a dire problem driving 'anywhere and everywhere in the state of Tamaulipas as it is rated at Level 4 throughout. But this alert is for 85D specifically and all the reports that I have read say it is/was 85 libre.  And then they tell you to 'travel on cuotas'.... which is exactly where they say this problem is...85D! 

4) and if one looks closely, their 'Actions to Take' suggest that one can/should travel... just be cautions and do the kind of things we all do driving in Mexico anyway!

Anyway... I have personally just learned to disregard these US Alerts UNLESS they also concur with other publications which give a more detailed and less 'boilerplate' accounting of an event.

P.S.  Kiko has suggested taking highway 57 libre from Saltillo to Piedras Negras. And if one is going anywhere west of San Antonio that is a good route to take anyway.  I've traveled that road a zillion times over the last 10 years and it has only gotten better. But if I actually need to go to the San Antonio area or east of there, I'll continue to take 85D from Monterrey to Laredo regardless of what the US State department decides to cry wolf about. As Mostlylost has suggested, thousands and thousands of cars travel that road daily with their biggest problem being a potential..... accident!

end of rant....

 

 

 

 

 

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21 hours ago, RickS said:

P.S.  Kiko has suggested taking highway 57 libre from Saltillo to Piedras Negras. And if one is going anywhere west of San Antonio that is a good route to take anyway.  I've traveled that road a zillion times over the last 10 years and it has only gotten better. But if I actually need to go to the San Antonio area or east of there, I'll continue to take 85D from Monterrey to Laredo regardless of what the US State department decides to cry wolf about. As Mostlylost has suggested, thousands and thousands of cars travel that road daily with their biggest problem being a potential..... accident!

end of rant....

 

 

Rick, last time we took this route we were coming south and took the bypass around Monclova. The road was not particuarly good, and there was no traffic and one police vehicle parked in a more remote location. It spookies us a bit. Do you recommend the bypass or just driving through Monclova.

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I NEVER take that bypass! Years ago it was a given that if you went that way you were guaranteed a mordida payment out there in Ciudad Frontera. Not so much now as the town folks there and in Monclova rebelled with success.

Just drive straight thru Monclova on Blvd. Harold Pape! Lots of signal lights but moves OK. Monclova is a nice, clean city with several nice hotels and a..... Burger King & a Carl Jr's!!! 😄

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I came north through Eagle Pass 3 days ago.  There were 50+ cars in line to cancel a TIP at Allende.  2 hours in line to cross north on a Monday afternoon.

Reason???  People are avoiding N Laredo/Colombia crossings.  Give yourself extra time.

Ciudad Acuna/Del Rio might be a better choice.

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19 hours ago, RickS said:

I NEVER take that bypass! Years ago it was a given that if you went that way you were guaranteed a mordida payment out there in Ciudad Frontera. Not so much now as the town folks there and in Monclova rebelled with success.

Just drive straight thru Monclova on Blvd. Harold Pape! Lots of signal lights but moves OK. Monclova is a nice, clean city with several nice hotels and a..... Burger King & a Carl Jr's!!! 😄

 

6 hours ago, Toyhauler 4u said:

I came north through Eagle Pass 3 days ago.  There were 50+ cars in line to cancel a TIP at Allende.  2 hours in line to cross north on a Monday afternoon.

Reason???  People are avoiding N Laredo/Colombia crossings.  Give yourself extra time.

Ciudad Acuna/Del Rio might be a better choice.

Thanks Rick for the routing and thanks Toyhauler for the update.

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