Tuesday, March 16, 2010

US State Department Travel Warnings

HAITI
March 15, 2010

"The Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the situation in Haiti in the aftermath of a powerful earthquake, measuring 7.0 magnitude, that struck near Port-au-Prince on January 12. The Department of State has ordered the departure of all non-emergency U.S. government personnel from Haiti. This replaces the Travel Warning for Haiti dated February 22, 2010, and provides information on crime-related threats to U.S. citizens in Haiti.

The Department of State strongly urges U.S. citizens to avoid travel to Haiti...

U.S. citizens traveling to and residing in Haiti despite this warning are reminded that there remains a persistent danger of violent crime, including homicides and kidnappings. Since the January 12 earthquake, four American citizens have been murdered in Port-au-Prince. Most kidnappings are criminal in nature, and the kidnappers make no distinctions of nationality, race, gender, or age. Some kidnap victims have been killed, shot, sexually assaulted, or physically abused. While the capacity and capabilities of the Haitian National Police have improved since 2006, the presence of UN stabilization force (MINUSTAH) peacekeeping troops and UN-formed police units remain critical to maintaining an adequate level of security throughout the country. The lack of civil protections in Haiti, as well as the limited capability of local law enforcement to resolve crime, further compounds the security threat to American citizens.

While MINUSTAH remains fully deployed and is assisting the Government of Haiti in providing security, travel is always hazardous within Port-au-Prince. The Department of State has ordered the departure of all non-emergency U.S. government personnel from Haiti. Remaining U.S. Embassy personnel are under an Embassy-imposed curfew and must remain in their homes or in U.S. government facilities during the curfew. Some areas are off-limits to Embassy staff after dark, including downtown Port-au-Prince. The Embassy restricts travel by its staff to some areas outside of Port-au-Prince because of the prevailing road, weather, or security conditions. This may constrain our ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens outside Port-au-Prince. Demonstrations and violence may occasionally limit Embassy operations to emergency services, even within Port-au-Prince.

U.S. citizens who choose to travel to Haiti despite this Travel Warning are urged to register their travel through the State Department's travel registration website. The Embassy of the United States Port-au-Prince Haiti is located at Boulevard du 15 October, Tabarre 41, Tabarre, Haiti, telephone: (509) (2) 229-8000, facsimile: (509) (2) 229-8027, email: acspap@state.gov American Citizens Services Unit office hours are 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. The Consular Section is closed on U.S. and local holidays.

While the Embassy’s ability to provide emergency consular services is limited, registration will enable receipt of warden messages via email. Current information on safety and security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the United States, or for callers outside the United States and Canada, a regular toll-line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday, except U.S. federal holidays."

Read the full Warning: http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/tw/tw_4632.html


Mexico
March 14, 2010

"The Department of State has issued this Travel Warning to inform U.S. citizens traveling to and living in Mexico of concerns about the security situation in Mexico, and that it has authorized the departure of the dependents of U.S. government personnel from U.S. consulates in the Northern Mexican border cities of Tijuana, Nogales, Ciudad Juarez, Nuevo Laredo, Monterrey and Matamoros until April 12. Family members of US Government personnel assigned to other areas of Mexico outside the Mexican border states are not affected by this departure measure. This Travel Warning supercedes the Travel Alert dated February 22, 2010, and announces the authorized departure of some dependents and updates security incidents...

Mexican drug cartels are engaged in violent conflict - both among themselves and with Mexican security services - for control of narcotics trafficking routes along the U.S.-Mexico border. To combat violence, the government of Mexico has deployed military troops throughout the country. U.S. citizens should cooperate fully with official checkpoints when traveling on Mexican highways.

Some recent confrontations between Mexican authorities and drug cartel members have resembled small-unit combat, with cartels employing automatic weapons and grenades. Large firefights have taken place in towns and cities across Mexico, but occur mostly in northern Mexico, including Ciudad Juarez, Tijuana, Chihuahua City, Nogales, Matamoros, Reynosa and Monterrey. During some of these incidents, U.S. citizens have been trapped and temporarily prevented from leaving the area. The U.S. Mission in Mexico currently restricts its U.S. government employees’ travel within the state of Durango, the northwest quadrant of the state of Chihuahua and an area southeast of Ciudad Juarez, and all parts of the state of Coahuila south of Mexican Highways 25 and 22 and the Alamos River. This restriction was implemented in light of a recent increase in assaults, murders, and kidnappings in those three states...

The situation in the state of Chihuahua, specifically Ciudad Juarez, is of special concern. The U.S. Consulate General recommends that American citizens defer non-essential travel to the Guadalupe Bravo area southeast of Ciudad Juarez and to the northwest quarter of the state of Chihuahua including the city of Nuevo Casas Grandes and surrounding communities. From the United States, these areas are often reached through the Columbus, NM, and Fabens and Fort Hancock, TX, ports of entry. In both areas, American citizens have been victims of drug-related violence...

U.S. citizens traveling throughout Mexico should exercise caution in unfamiliar areas and be aware of their surroundings at all times. Bystanders have been injured or killed in violent attacks in cities across the country, demonstrating the heightened risk of violence in public places. In recent years, dozens of U.S. citizens living in Mexico have been kidnapped and most of their cases remain unsolved. U.S. citizens who believe they are being targeted for kidnapping or other crimes should notify Mexican law enforcement officials and the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City or the nearest U.S. consulate as soon as possible. Any U.S. visitor who suspects they are a target should consider returning to the United States immediately. U.S. citizens should be aware that many cases of violent crime are never resolved by Mexican law enforcement, and the U.S. government has no authority to investigate crimes committed in Mexico.

U.S. citizens should make every attempt to travel on main roads during daylight hours, particularly the toll ('cuota') roads, which generally are more secure. When warranted, the U.S. Embassy and consulates advise their employees as well as private U.S. citizens to avoid certain areas, abstain from driving on certain roads because of dangerous conditions or criminal activity, or recommend driving during daylight hours only. When this happens, the Embassy or the affected consulate will alert the local U.S. citizen Warden network and post the information on their respective websites, indicating the nature of the concern and the expected time period for which the restriction will remain in place.

U.S. citizen visitors are encouraged to stay in the well-known tourist areas. Travelers should leave their itinerary with a friend or family member not traveling with them, avoid traveling alone, and check with their cellular phone service providers prior to departure to confirm that their cell phone is capable of roaming on GSM or 3G international networks. Do not display expensive-looking jewelry, large amounts of money, or other valuable items. Travelers to remote or isolated hunting or fishing venues should be aware of their distance from appropriate medical, law enforcement, and consular services in an emergency situation...

For the latest security information, U.S. citizens traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department's internet web site at http://travel.state.gov/ where the current Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, and Travel Alerts can be found. Up-to-date information on security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the United States and Canada, or, for callers from Mexico, a regular toll line at 001-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays). American citizens traveling or residing overseas are encouraged to register with the appropriate U.S. Embassy or Consulate on the State Department's travel registration website at https://travelregistration.state.gov/.

For any emergencies involving U.S. citizens in Mexico, please contact the U.S. Embassy or the closest U.S. Consulate. The numbers provided below for the Embassy and Consulates are available around the clock. The U.S. Embassy is located in Mexico City at Paseo de la Reforma 305, Colonia Cuauhtemoc, telephone from the United States: 011-52-55-5080-2000; telephone within Mexico City: 5080-2000; telephone long distance within Mexico 01-55-5080-2000. You may also contact the Embassy by e-mail at: ACSMexicoCity@state.gov The Embassy's internet address is http://www.usembassy-mexico.gov/.

Consulates:
Ciudad Juarez: Paseo de la Victoria 3650, tel. (011)(52)(656) 227-3000. http://ciudadjuarez.usconsulate.gov/.

Guadalajara: Progreso 175, telephone (011)(52)(333) 268-2100. http://guadalajara.usconsulate.gov/.

Hermosillo: Avenida Monterrey 141, telephone (011)(52)(662) 289-3500. http://hermosillo.usconsulate.gov/.

Matamoros: Avenida Primera 2002, telephone (011)(52)(868) 812-4402. http://matamoros.usconsulate.gov/.

Merida: Calle 60 no. 338-K x 29 y 31, Col. Alcala Martin, Merida, Yucatan, Mexico 97050, telephone (011)(52)(999) 942-5700 or 202-250-3711 (U.S. number). http://merida.usconsulate.gov/.

Monterrey: Avenida Constitucion 411 Poniente, telephone (011)(52)(818) 047-3100. http://monterrey.usconsulate.gov/.

Nogales: Calle San Jose, Nogales, Sonora, telephone (011)(52)(631) 311-8150. http://nogales.usconsulate.gov/.

Nuevo Laredo: Calle Allende 3330, col. Jardin, telephone (011)(52)(867) 714-0512. http://nuevolaredo.usconsulate.gov/.

Tijuana: Tapachula 96, telephone (011)(52)(664) 622-7400. http://tijuana.usconsulate.gov/service.html.

Consular Agencies:
Acapulco: Hotel Continental Emporio, Costera Miguel Aleman 121 - local 14, telephone (011)(52)(744) 484-0300 or (011)(52)(744) 469-0556.

Cabo San Lucas: Blvd. Marina local c-4, Plaza Nautica, col. Centro, telephone (011)(52)(624) 143-3566.

Cancún: Plaza Caracol two, second level, no. 320-323, Boulevard Kukulcan, km. 8.5, Zona Hotelera, telephone (011)(52)(998) 883-0272 or, 202-640-2511 (a U.S. number).

Ciudad Acuña: Closed until further notice.

Cozumel: Plaza Villa Mar en el Centro, Plaza Principal, (Parque Juárez between Melgar and 5th ave.) 2nd floor, locales #8 and 9, telephone (011)(52)(987) 872-4574 or, 202-459-4661 (a U.S. number).

Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo: Hotel Fontan, Blvd. Ixtapa, telephone (011)(52)(755) 553-2100.

Mazatlán: Playa Gaviotas #202, Zona Dorada, telephone (011)(52)(669) 916-5889.

Oaxaca: Macedonio Alcalá no. 407, interior 20, telephone (011)(52)(951) 514-3054, (011) (52)(951) 516-2853.

Piedras Negras: Abasolo #211, Zona Centro, Piedras Negras, Coah., Tel. (011)(52)(878) 782-5586.

Playa del Carmen: 'The Palapa,' Calle 1 Sur, between Avenida 15 and Avenida 20, telephone (011)(52)(984) 873-0303 or 202-370-6708(a U.S. number)."

Read the complete Warning: http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/tw/tw_4755.html

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