Travel Alerts

Americans Warned to Avoid Visiting Tamaulipas Mexico

Mexico Travel Advisories issued by the United Kingdom and US Department of State
Mexico (Vax Before Travel)

According to local news reporting, officials in both the United States and Mexico are urging Americans not to travel to the Mexican state of Tamaulipas.

KGNS-TV, based in Laredo, Texas, said in a news release that ‘the Mexican state of Tamaulipas is currently under a “Do not travel” advisory, citing violent crime by gang activity, including gun battles and blockades by criminal organizations.

This media warning also mentions Mexican Federal and State Security Forces have limited capability to respond to the violence.

Tamaulipas is home to over 3.4 million residents, is known officially as the ‘Free and Sovereign State of Tamaulipas,’ and is located in northeastern Mexico, on the southern Texas border.

Previously, on April 9, 2019, the US Department of State issued a Level 4 Travel Advisory which said ‘Do not travel to Tamaulipas due to crime and kidnapping.’

‘Violent crime, such as murder, armed robbery, carjacking, kidnapping, extortion, and sexual assault, is common. Gang activity, including gun battles and blockades, is widespread.’ 

‘Armed criminal groups target public and private passenger buses as well as private automobiles traveling through Tamaulipas, often taking passengers hostage and demanding ransom payments.’

U.S. government employees may only travel within a limited radius between the U.S. Consulates in Nuevo Laredo and Matamoros and their respective U.S. Ports of Entry. U.S. government employees may not travel between cities in Tamaulipas using interior Mexican highways, and they must observe a curfew between midnight and 6:00 a.m. in the cities of Matamoros and Nuevo Laredo.

Separately, UK authorities said on August 27, 2019, ‘there are currently large numbers of migrants moving en masse from Honduras through Guatemala to Mexico and beyond.’ 

And, drug-related violence is a particular problem in the northern states, including Tamaulipas. Armed clashes between security forces and drug groups can occur at any time without warning. You should take extreme care outside tourist areas in all of this Mexican state. 

Previous Mexico Travel Alerts

If you decide to visit Mexico, the US Department of State suggests the following preventive actions:

  • Be aware of your surroundings when traveling to tourist locations and large crowded public venues.
  • Follow the instructions of local authorities, including movement restrictions related to any ongoing police action.
  • Monitor local media for breaking events and adjust your plans based on new information.
  • Do not physically resist any robbery attempt, nor display signs of wealth, such as wearing expensive watches or jewelry.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations, such as this Traveler’s Checklist.
  • U.S. citizens needing assistance can contact the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City, located at Paseo de la Reforma 305, Colonia Cuauhtemoc, Mexico, D.F., Mexico C.P.

Furthermore, from a health perspective, UK health officials classified Mexico as having a risk of Zika virus transmission. According to February 2019 reporting, the incidence of Zika virus disease in Mexico was higher than previously assumed. 

This study estimated that the number of symptomatic cases of Zika infection in the general Mexican population was 7.3 times greater than the corresponding number of reported cases.

Additionally, the CDC says to ensure you are up-to-date on routine vaccines before visiting Mexico. These vaccines include MMR, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, varicella, polio vaccines, and your yearly flu shot.

Travel vaccines and medications are available at certified pharmacies in the USA. Travel counseling appointments can be easily scheduled at Vax-Before-Travel.

Published by Vax Before Travel

Article by
Dani Reiter