Warning for Mexico Travel

by : michael Webster

El Paso/Juarez Metro-Borderplex - Thousands of Mexican soldiers have been sent to CD. Juarez, after many pleas for help from the JuÃ?rez Mayor Jose Reyes Ferriz. The Mexican troops and federal Mexican police are patrolling the city with gunship helicopters, troop personal carries, pickups and Humvees with mounted .50-caliber machine guns. These Mexican troop convoys are currently operating throughout the city. As reported in the Laguna Journal the Mexican soldiers are armed with combat M-16 fully automatic rifles. This latest action by Mexican President Calderon now places Mexican armed soldiers on the U.S. Border with Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California.

A convoy of newly arrived Mexican soldiers in a variety of military vehicles traveled along Barranca Azul street to a military installation in South of Juarez Friday.

This latest Mexican troop movement places more than 30,000 Mexican troops combating the Mexican cartels throughout the country. This operation, dubbed Operacion Conjunta Chihuahua, by the Mexican army is expected to provoke a violent response from Mexican drug cartels, officials said.

"We are not going to give in," Public Safety Secretary Genaro Garcia Luna said. "In the states where there is most violence, we will be right there to confront the phenomenon."

Dozens of U.S. citizens have been kidnapped, held hostage and killed by their captors in Mexico and many cases remain unsolved. Moreover, new cases of disappearances and kidnap-for-ransom continue to be reported.

An alarming number of Americans are vanishing in Mexico where there has been a dramatic increase in the numbers of U.S. citizens who have recently been reported missing or kidnapped along the border with Mexico, reports the Washington Post. Many who have vanished from U.S. cities are still missing and it is feared they will turn up in the mass graves that have been discovered lately in Mexico.

Mexican federal police guard the home where authorities discovered 36 bodies buried beneath a patio. The tallest building stands on the same property where the remains were found.

The U.S. Government has not issued a new travel warning or even an up-grade on its existing alert. Even though many Mexican cities on the U.S. Border and elsewhere in Mexico is under siege. The question is why not. Mexico is now one of the most dangerous countries in the world. And it is our neighbors to the south with a population nearing 100 million people.

Fort Bliss bans soldiers from visiting Juarez because of increasing violence there, Fort Bliss officials say they've discontinued issuing passes to soldiers who want to travel across the border to Juarez. If its not safe for U.S. Soldiers, than it is unsafe for other Americans. Said, John Lutes who was born in El Paso and served in the military.

The Maverick Conservative Public Journal reported recently that citizens in both El Paso Texas and Juarez Mexico woke up to the news that thousands of Mexican troops are now patrolling the streets of Juarez according to flash radio and TV reports. The troops are there according to Mexican President Filipe Caldron because of the ongoing violence" in the DRUG WAR going on along the Mexican border (especially in Mexican cities bordering the U.S. like Juarez.

Juan Diaz a resident of Juarez said "he awoke recently to a radio report about another gunshot victim being rushed to an AMERICAN hospital from Columbus, Mexico--the place, I believe, where the POLICE CHIEF sought asylum in the U.S. from about two weeks ago." The El Paso Times has even begun carrying stories about it being DANGEROUS for people to go to Juarez. You know things are BAD when they start to be warnings about going into Mexico. Both economies depend a good deal on tourist, and El Paso hardly wants people to get the idea that Juarez is a DANGEROUS place to visit. People visiting Juarez generally go through El Paso. To me, this DETERIORATION along the Mexican border I have never seen it this bad in the 40 years I have lived in the region." At a recent news conference in JuÃ?rez , Gen. Guillermo GalvÃ?n GalvÃ?n, Mexico's defense secretary, said 100 soldiers would also be sent to Palomas, across the border from Columbus, N.M. See Mexican Police Chief Requests US Asylum

Meanwhile, even the national mainstream media is pretty much ignoring the deteriorating situation along the Mexican border even as it has become daily news, as they continue their propaganda against any effective action to control illegal immigration or to secure the Mexican border.

The most dangerous city in the world status is the one where there is a war zone, where killings, kidnappings, torture, muggings or any number of other criteria could be used to claim the "most dangerous" title. Mexico meets all that criteria and more, yet the U.S. Government seems to be doing nothing.

Many critics claim that the relationship between Washington and Mexico City is to cozy.

Since President Bush took office he has been reluctant to criticize Mexico. Critic's of NAFTA say the President does not want to do anything to upset the Mexican Government as he courts their membership in the U.S. Canadian, Mexico reliance program referred to as "The Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America" (SPP). Critic's of the war on drugs and terror say for what ever reasons the Bush administration wants the border between Mexico and the U.S. to remain open at all costs. The U.S. ambassador to Mexico said the United States is considering issuing a heightened travel alert in the coming days. "While there is little doubt in my mind that the travel alert should be reissued, it may also be necessary to heighten the alert to better reflect the increasing insecurity in the state of Chihuahua," U.S. Ambassador Tony Garza said.

The U.S. State Department reluctantly issued an alert last year warning Americans about travel in areas of Mexico where foreigners have been targeted. The alert is due to expire April 15. 2008. Mexico has suffered a wave of organized crime and drug-related violence that killed more than 2,500 people last year.

According to the U.S. State Department "Travel Warnings" are issued when the State Department decides, based on all relevant information, to recommend that Americans avoid travel to a certain country. Countries where avoidance of travel is recommended will have Travel Warnings as well as Country Specific Information. No travel warning is in place for the country of Mexico

Travel Warning should provide updated information on the security situation in Mexico. The security threat to all American citizens in Mexico remains critical.

The Department of State continues to strongly warn U.S. citizens against travel to Afghanistan. And other countries but not Mexico. U.S. Mexican border Drug War kills more than War on Terror in Afghanistan The State dept. says that no part of Afghanistan should be considered immune from violence, and the potential exists throughout the country for hostile acts, either targeted or random, against American and other western nationals at any time. That is also true of Mexico. There is an on-going threat to kidnap and assassinate U.S. citizens. Mexican authorities have a limited ability to maintain order and ensure the security of citizens and visitors.

Travel in all areas of Mexico, including border cities, is unsafe due to military operations, armed rivalries among numerous Drug Cartels, Gangs and other drug war activity, kidnappings for ransom and kidnappings for revenge killings, banditry, and the possibility of terrorist attacks, including attacks using vehicular or other improvised explosive devices (IEDs). The security environment remains volatile and unpredictable.

Foreigners throughout the country continued to be targeted for violent attacks and kidnappings, motivated by Mexican criminals.

Riots and incidents of civil disturbance can and do occur, often without warning. American citizens should avoid rallies and demonstrations; even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence.
Carjackings, robberies, and violent crime remain a problem. Americans who find themselves in such situations cannot assume that either local law enforcement or the U.S. Embassy will be able to assist them.

Travel Alerts are a means to disseminate information about terrorist threats and other relatively short-term and/or trans-national conditions posing significant risks to the security of American travelers. The TAs are made when there is a specific threat that cannot be countered. In the past, Travel Alerts have been issued to deal with short-term coups, violence by terrorists and anniversary dates of specific terrorist events.