Friday, November 21, 2014

U.S. State Department warns of Acapulco dangers


"This message is to inform U.S. citizens that protests and violent incidents continue in Guerrero state in response to the disappearance of 43 students there. Embassy personnel have been instructed to defer non-essential travel to Acapulco, by air or land, to include the federal toll road (“cuota”) 95D to/from Mexico City and Acapulco. Furthermore, road travel in all other parts of the state remains prohibited. Travel by air to and from Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo is still permitted. The Embassy cautions U.S. citizens to follow the same guidelines.

"The Mexican Constitution prohibits political activities by foreigners; such actions may result in detention and/or deportation. Travelers should avoid political demonstrations and other activities that might be deemed political by the Mexican authorities. Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence. Demonstrators in Mexico may block traffic on roads, including major arteries, or take control of toll booths on highways. U.S. citizens are urged to avoid areas of demonstrations, and to exercise caution if in the vicinity of any protests.

"Review your personal security plans; remain aware of your surroundings, including local events; and monitor local news stations for updates and any news of other protest activity throughout the country of Mexico. Maintain a high level of vigilance and take appropriate steps to enhance your personal security."

Protesters in Iguala, Guerrero, "the birthplace of murderers"
Nov. 24 - Control of Guerrero hotly disputed by six major drug cartels, and many local gangs
Nov. 13 - Acapulco's economy hard hit by regional violence
Aug. 16 - U.S. State Dept.'s latest warning about Mexican travel risks angers Peña administration

Feb. 6 - International press bombards Acapulco: "a death zone"
Feb. 6 - Acapulco's tearful mayor begs Peña Nieto for federal help
Feb. 24 - Murder of Belgian national in bustling Acapulco tourist district further damages an already tarnished image
Mar. 5 - Canadian tourists, 60 and 65, injured in Acapulco assault
Apr. 26 - A bankrupt Acapulco can't meet its payroll

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