Saturday, July 13, 2013

México: US Department of State Issues Updated Travel Warning, List of Tips

COMMENT: Although I have provided the US Department of State's latest travel warning on México below, all travelers, regardless of nationality, should exercise a highly focused sense of personal security awareness while in México that includes the following:

1. Register your travel itinerary and your personal information online with your appropriate foreign affairs agency;

2. Subscribe to international medical treatment and evacuation coverage before leaving home;

3. Carry a 24/7 mobile phone at all times and provide family and freinds with the mobile number before departure;

4. Stay in hotels that have formidable levels of security or in aparthotels that are lower-key and less ostentatious, yet secure;

5. Never use a street-level ATM at night;

6.  Never carry more than $100 in cash or local currency;

7. Don't walk alone at night. Take a reputable taxi at all times. Ask your hotel concierge for the number of a reputable radio-controlled taxi service that you can call. NEVER HAIL A TAXI AT NIGHT, particularly in México;

8. If alone, limit your alcoholic intake to two drinks;

9. If in a bar or restaurant, never leave your drink unattended, as the use of "date-rape" drugs by criminals is a frequent occurrence; and

10. Type in the phone number of your embassy or consulate in your mobile phone's speed-dialer.

Effective July 12, the US Department of State has issued an updated travel warning for México, the full text of which is reflected below:

http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/tw/tw_5815

Seventy-one US citizens were murdered in México in 2012. That translates into six a month or 1.3 a week! Please be careful!

Finally, Please realize that embassies and consulates have limited staffs to assist victimized travelers. Consequently, it is essential that you be as self-sufficient as possible and depend on as few people as possible. That means PLAN for the worst.