Drug-related violence leads to US
travel advisory on Mexico
25 April, 2007
The United States State Department has
issued a travel advisory warning
Americans of drug-related violence in
many parts of Mexico, including states
along the Texan border.
The warning comes in the wake of drug
traffickers posting written death
threats against government officials
and their families. These threats were
attached with ice picks to the bodies
of murder victims.
According to US and Mexican officials,
in March 2007, three bodies were found
in the Monterrey area with messages
accusing Nuevo León state authorities
of favoring rival cartel groups and
warning of retaliation against them
and their families.
An official of the United States said
the environment has never been this
tense. Direct threats against
government officials and their
families are unusual in Mexico.
Mexican officials, while confirming
the threats, reiterated President
Felipe Calderón’s vow to crack down on
Over 700 people have been killed in
Mexico in battles among drug gangs so
far this year. In 2006, more than
2,000 people lost their lives.
Since 2000, 33 journalists have been
done to death or have disappeared in
Mexico, making the country one of the
most dangerous countries for
Officials on both sides of the border
warned that violence in Mexico will
continue to surge as the demand for
drugs within Mexico grows.
Traditionally, Mexican traffickers
desisted from selling drugs to Mexican
youths, choosing to focus on the drug
demand in the US.
Two of the Mexican states listed in
the US State Department’s travel
advisory are on the Texan border –
Nuevo León, especially in and around
Monterrey, and Tamaulipas,
particularly Nuevo Laredo. The travel
advisory also includes the popular
beach city of Acapulco.
While much of the violence is between
rival drug cartels battling over
control of drug routes into the United
States and for emerging drug markets
in Mexico, the US government has
warned that foreigners also faced
The US State Department said in the
announcement, which replaces one
issued in January 2007, that citizens
of the United States should make every
attempt to travel on main roads during
daylight hours. The US citizens have
also been asked to exercise all
caution while in Mexico and remain
vigilant for any situation that could
Nearly 50,000 Americans live in the
Monterrey area, and 1,200 US
businesses have investments there.