Messages for U.S. Citizens
March 31, 2010
U.S. Consulate General of the United States of America
On the eve of the April 1-4 holiday break, the U.S. Consulate General in Monterrey wishes to remind American citizens that incidents of violence continue to occur without warning in many parts of Nuevo Leon, Coahuila, and Durango. Americans planning travel by road from Monterrey to Texas should be especially vigilant and carefully monitor local news reports.
Incidents of violence continue to occur both in the Monterrey metropolitan area and in locations between Monterrey and the Texas border. A firefight between Mexican military and drug traffickers occurred on March 19th near the Monterrey TEC University, resulting in the deaths of two students. Innocent bystanders were also wounded and killed in confrontations between criminals and Mexican authorities in late March in the neighborhood of San Jeronimo in Monterrey and the city of Santa Catarina, a suburb of Monterrey. Ten students ages 8-21 were killed March 28 at a roadblock set up by criminals near Pueblo Nuevo, Durango. Criminal elements have also recently blocked major highways and thoroughfares in Monterrey and other communities causing serious disruptions to traffic. In many cases, it has taken up to several hours to clear the blockages and reopen streets and highways.
All of the information in the Consulate General’s prior warden message issued March 5, 2010 and in the Travel Warning for Mexico issued March 14, 2010 remains valid. Both documents can be found on the U.S. Consulate General’s website or at the Department of State’s website. Key excerpts from the March 5, 2010 warden message are copied below.
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 , 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 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 road travel may be safer during the morning and early afternoon hours. 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”. 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 and Country Specific Information for Mexico, 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@state.gov; web page U.S. Consulate General Monterrey.
Contact information for the U.S. Consulates General in Nuevo Laredo and Matamoros is:
Nuevo Laredo: Calle Allende 3330, Col. Jardín, telephone (52) (867) 714-0512,
Matamoros: Avenida Primera 2002, telephone (52) (868) 812-4402.
Stay in Touch
U.S. citizens living or traveling abroad are encouraged to register with the nearest U. S. Embassy or consulate through the State Department’s travel registration website, Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), and to obtain updated information on travel and security. United States citizens without Internet access may register in person with the nearest U.S. Embassy or consulate.