The U.S. State Department has updated a warning to Americans who wish to travel to Mexico. Travel.State.Gov makes several safety recommendations regarding travel to Mexico and personal safety while visiting there:
"U.S. travelers should be aware that the Mexican government has been engaged in an extensive effort to counter TCOs which engage in narcotics trafficking and other unlawful activities throughout Mexico. The TCOs themselves are engaged in a violent struggle to control drug trafficking routes and other criminal activity. As a result, crime and violence are serious problems throughout the country and can occur anywhere."
"U.S. citizens have fallen victim to TCO activity, including homicide, gun battles, kidnapping, carjacking and highway robbery."
"The rising number of kidnappings and disappearances throughout Mexico is of particular concern. Both local and expatriate communities have been victimized. In addition, local police have been implicated in some of these incidents."
"We strongly advise you to lower your profile and avoid displaying any evidence of wealth that might draw attention."
This is good advice that many of us should heed when traveling to Mexico or elsewhere. One dead give away about an individuals wealth is their personal devices such as laptops, smartphones, or tablets. If you find yourself in a bad part of town or unsavory village in Mexico, think twice before you go displaying all those gadgets you paid hard earned money for. Other peoples greed may cause them to victimize you.
It is a good idea to always have a cell phone on you in case you need to call for help, but don't be too trusting of anyone you don't know. Even the police in Mexico have been implicated in crimes. In fact, the situation has become so bad that if you are a government employee or other person of prominence, the state department has restricted your travel to essential matters only.
Use your head when traveling and don't leave designated tourist areas while in Mexico. Always be aware of your surroundings and who is watching you.
The advisory from Travel.State.Gov points out:
"Resort areas and tourist destinations in Mexico generally do not see the levels of drug-related violence and crime reported in the border region and in areas along major trafficking routes."