Monday, May 19, 2008

Vacation in Mexico

Some anti-illegal alien groups have been making the rounds at Mexican Embassies/Consulates. They walk around on the sidewalk with signs that read, “Boycott Mexican Tourism” or some such message.

The point is that if Mexico is going to send us their tired and poor we’ll punish them by going to The Bahamas rather than Cancun. Make sense?

Well, it appears Mexico has beat them to the punch. They have been working hard at it and succeeded in getting our State Department to issue a Travel Alert. There is another level called a Travel Warning. And the highest level – a Travel Ban.

Calderon decided when he took office that he was going to put an end to the Mexican Drug Lords who are making a mess of things. To that end, he has actually deployed military units to some cities to fight the gangs. I think he has committed 20,000 troops nationwide to the task.

(As an aside, good ol’ President Bush has sent money, trainers, and equipment to help Mexico in the effort. I believe the Merida Initiative commits $500 MILLION this year and $450 MILLION next year to spend on the drug war in Mexico alone.)

So, here’s what our State Department says about your vacation to Mexico:
"Violent criminal activity fueled by a war between criminal organizations struggling for control of the lucrative narcotics trade continues along the U.S.-Mexico border. Attacks are aimed primarily at members of drug trafficking organizations, Mexican police forces, criminal justice officials, and journalists. However, foreign visitors and residents, including Americans, have been among the victims of homicides and kidnappings in the border region. In its effort to combat violence, the government of Mexico has deployed military troops in various parts of the country. U.S. citizens are urged to cooperate with official checkpoints when traveling on Mexican highways.

"Recent Mexican army and police force conflicts with heavily-armed narcotics cartels have escalated to levels equivalent to military small-unit combat and have included use of machine guns and fragmentation grenades. Confrontations have taken place in numerous towns and cities in northern Mexico, including Tijuana in the Mexican state of Baja California, and Chihuahua City and Ciudad Juarez in the state of Chihuahua. The situation in northern Mexico remains very fluid; the location and timing of future armed engagements there cannot be predicted.

"Armed robberies and carjackings, apparently unconnected to the narcotics-related violence, have increased in Tijuana and Ciudad Juarez. Dozens of U.S. citizens were kidnapped and/or murdered in Tijuana in 2007. Public shootouts have occurred during daylight hours near shopping areas. Criminals are armed with a wide array of sophisticated weapons. In some cases, assailants have worn full or partial police or military uniforms and have used vehicles that resemble police vehicles.

"U.S. citizens are urged to be especially alert to safety and security concerns when visiting the border region." (end of quote - - The alert continues at: )

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