Travel Alerts

Mexico’s Level 2 Travel Advisory Explained

US State Department advisory for Mexico includes Level 3 travel warnings
map of mexican us border

The Chihuahua and Sonora Mexican state governments issued a joint statement on November 4, 2019, saying an investigation had been launched into the attack of a Morman family with dual U.S./Mexico citizenship.

This Reuters news article noted ‘additional federal and local security forces were being sent into the area near the border between the two Mexican states.’

Previously, the U.S. Embassy Consulate General in Hermosillo, Mexico issued a Security Alert on October 17, 2019, which said there are ongoing conflicts between Mexican government forces and unlawful groups throughout the Culiacan, Sinaloa area.

Furthermore, the U.S. Embassy reported ‘Mexican officials have directed people to shelter in place. Schools and other activities in the city are canceled until further notice.’

The U.S. Department of State had updated its Level 2 Travel Advisory for the country of Mexico on April 9, 2019, which explained the various regional Level 3, Reconsider Travel, warnings.

In the State of Chihuahua:

Extensive civil unrest is widespread, and battles between criminals have resulted in violent crime in areas frequented by U.S. citizens. Bystanders have been injured or killed in shooting incidents.

Travel for U.S. government employees is limited to the following areas with the noted restrictions.

  • Ciudad Juarez: They may travel at any time to the area of Ciudad Juarez bounded to the east by Bulevar Independencia; to the south by De los Montes Urales/Avenida Manuel J Clouthier/Carretera de Juarez; to the west by Via Juan Gabriel/Avenida de los Insurgentes/Calle Miguel Ahumada/Francisco Javier Mina/Melchor Ochampo; and to the north by the U.S.-Mexico border.
  • Additionally, direct travel to the Ciudad Juarez airport and the factories (maquilas) located along Bulevar Independencia and Las Torres is permitted. Travel to the factory (maquila) and cattle inspection station in San Jeronimo is permitted only through the United States via the Santa Teresa port of entry; travel via Anapra is prohibited.
  • Chihuahua City: U.S. government employees must travel from Ciudad Juarez to Chihuahua City during daylight hours via Highway 45, with stops permitted only at the Federal Police station, the overlook, the border inspection station at KM 35, and the shops and restaurants on Highway 45 in the town of Villa Ahumada. They may not travel to the Morelos, Villa, and Zapata districts of Chihuahua City.
  • Nuevo Casas Grandes Area: (including Nuevo Casas Grandes, Casas Grandes, Mata Ortiz, Colonia Juarez, Colonia LeBaron, and Paquime) U.S. government employees must travel to the Nuevo Casas Grandes area during daylight hours through the United States. U.S. government employees must enter Mexico at the Palomas Port of Entry on New Mexico Route 11 before connecting to Mexico Highway 2 to Nuevo Casas Grandes.
  • Ojinaga: U.S. government employees must travel to Ojinaga via U.S. Highway 67 through the Presidio, Texas Port of Entry. U.S. government employees may visit the city during daylight hours only and must overnight in Texas.
  • Palomas: U.S. government employees must travel to Palomas via U.S. highways through the Palomas Port of Entry in Columbus, New Mexico.
  • Travel by U.S. government employees to all other areas of the state of Chihuahua, including Copper Canyon, is prohibited.

In the State of Sonora:

Reconsider travel, as Sonora is a key location used by international trade and trafficking networks. Additionally, U.S. government employees may not travel to:

  • The triangular region west of the Mariposa Port of Entry, east of Sonoyta, and north of Altar.
  • The district within Nogales that lies to the north of Avenida Instituto Tecnologico and between Periferico (Bulevar Luis Donaldo Colosio) and Corredor Fiscal (Federal Highway 15D), and the residential areas to the east of Plutarco Elias Calles.
  • The eastern edge of the state of Sonora, which borders the state of Chihuahua:  all points along that border east of Federal Highway 17, the road between Moctezuma and Sahuaripa, and State Highway 20 between Sahuaripa and the intersection with Federal Highway 16.
  • All points south of Federal Highway 16 and east of Highway 15 (below Hermosillo), and all points south of Empalme.

The U.S. Mission to Mexico comprises the Embassy in Mexico City and nine consulates and consular agencies positioned throughout Mexico.

The Embassy of the United States in Mexico City is located at Paseo de la Reforma 305, Colonia Cuauhtemoc, 06500 Mexico City, Mexico.

Separately, UK authorities said on October 17, 2019, ‘The Mexican government makes efforts to protect major tourist destinations like Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Cozumel, Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta, and Nuevo Vallarta. You should take extreme care outside tourist areas in all of this Mexican state.’

Previous Mexico news

If you decide to visit Mexico, the U.S. 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.

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. 

Additionally, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on June 20, 2019, 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 advisory news published by Vax Before Travel


Article by
Dani Reiter