A record number of United States citizens were killed in Mexico last year, according to the State Department.
There were 111 American murders in Mexico last year, and many of them were on or along the Texas border. A reported 80 percent of the murders took place in border states with high narcotics violence. There were 39 murders in notorious Ciudad Juarez alone. The travel warning states that there is no indication that American tourists are being targeted.
According to The Houston Chronicle:
The number of U.S. victims last year was more than triple the toll in 2007. Over a four-year period, 283 Americans were reported murdered, according to State Department figures.
In the same lapse, more than 35,000 Mexicans have been killed, including about 15,000 last year. The Mexican government says most were gangsters. But hundreds of innocent civilians also have been killed.
"Bystanders, including U.S. citizens, have been injured or killed in violent incidents in various parts of the country, especially, but not exclusively in the northern border region, demonstrating the heightened risk of violence throughout Mexico," the latest State Department travel warning observes.
The travel warning expands on prior warnings and advises U.S. citizens to avoid non-essential travel to numerous Mexican states as well as Northern Baja, California. The advisory emphasizes threats in border states and also spotlights some other regions that may be unsafe.
For more on the violence along the border, see "Bordering on Danger," (Security Management, December 2010).
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