In this issue of The Cozumel Sun News, Consumer Protection in Cozumel, A Message to Visitors from PROFECO, and in Aurita’s Corner, Isla Cozumel Social Network Information, Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, Mexico Travel Warning in Cozumel, Mexico Travel Warning, Hurricane & Tropical Storm Season in Cozumel, How to prepare for a Hurricane, What to do during a Hurricane, What to do after a Hurricane, Donations Needed for Back to School Projects in the on-Going Bazar and more!
Consumer Protection in Cozumel
I recently receive a message from a lady that purchased fake jewelry on the island. The lady must not be a reader of the Cozumel Sun, or she would not have purchased the item from a person that “ran after her in the street” and quoting from the email: “The ring had an attached sale price of $1800.00 for 14k, 4 caret ring with diamonds Mexican Fire Opal ring. They accepted $550.00 cash.” People, if it is too good to be true, it isn’t. The authorities take consumer fraud seriously; the island’s reputation is critically important to the survival of our beautiful paradise. The majority of the vendors are honest and hardworking; I recommend Sergio’s Silver on my website that has the number one ranking on TripAdvisor. BUT, we have our share of dishonest people that sneak in. Here are some guidelines recently posted by our Consumer Protection agency PROFECO.
A Message to Visitors from PROFECO
- When making any purchases, always ask for a receipt and verify that is contains the name of the store, address, phone number, as well as a description of the service or item. If you pay in advance for a service, your receipt should have the above information.
- If you purchase jewelry, ask for a CERTIFIED WARRANTY. If you buy diamonds, it should describe the color, clarity, and shape. It should have a document from an internationally recognized company such as the International Gemological Institute (IGI), GIA, or American Gem Society.
- If you want to rent a vehicle, make certain to check the vehicle and take photos BEFORE signing any rental contracts. DO NOT ACCEPT VEHICLES IN BAD CONDITION.
- Please check that YOUR copy of the vehicle rental contract has the same information as the company’s copy of the rental contract.
- In any vehicle rental you automatically have third party liability coverage, however, we recommend GETTING FULL COVERAGE INSURANCE.
- To drive a motorcycle in Cozumel you are required to have a MOTORCYCLE LICENSE.
- DO NOT LEAVE YOUR PERSONAL BELONGINGS UNATTENDED anywhere.
- If you plan to scuba dive or snorkel in the National Reef Park of Cozumel, you can guarantee your experience by contracting a boat authorized by CONANP.
- When visiting the National Reef Park in Cozumel, demand your bracelet, your contribution helps maintain the reefs.
Second Floor of The Mercado
Stairs on the AR Salas Side of Building close to Avenida 25.
Move Effective Today August 23rd, 2017!
Local tel. no.: 987-872-1257 or 987-872-0180.
Federal Attorney’s Office of Consumer:
Hurricane & Tropical Storm Season in Cozumel
It is very important to have a checklist of things to prepare for in the event of a hurricane or a tropical storm in Cozumel. A tropical storm can change into a hurricane quickly so be prepared. For the upcoming Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 through November 30, forecasters predict a 45 percent chance of an above-normal season, a 35 percent chance of a near-normal season, and only a 20 percent chance of a below-normal season.
Forecasters predict a 70 percent likelihood of 11 to 17 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which 5 to 9 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 2 to 4 major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5; winds of 111 mph or higher). An average season produces 12 named storms of which six become hurricanes, including three major hurricanes.
How to prepare for a hurricane
-Stay on top of information provided by the authorities. Listen to the radio or TV for information.
-Cover all of your home’s windows with pre-cut plywood or hurricane shutters to protect your windows from high winds.
-Bring in all outdoor furniture, potted plants, decorations, and garbage cans, anything that is not a permanent fixture.
-Turn off all power breakers, turn off and disconnect all gas tanks, and check for gas leaks.
-Install a generator for emergencies. If you do not have a generator and must keep Insulin or other medication refrigerated, arrange to store it with someone that has one well in advance.
-Reinforce your garage doors; if wind enters a garage, it can cause dangerous and expensive structural damage. Reinforce your gates.
-Keep all trees and shrubs well-trimmed so they are more wind resistant.
-Secure your home by closing shutters, and securing outdoor objects or again, bringing them inside.
-Ensure that you have a supply of water for sanitary purposes such as cleaning and flushing toilets. Fill large containers with water, and the bathtub if you have one.
-You should have a first aid kit. Do not forget a battery operated radio with new batteries, lanterns or flashlights, cellular telephone, blankets, bedspreads, candles, and matches.
-Protect your documents, money, and personal belongings. You should have a place that these items that is water and fireproof, safe from all damage.
-You should have a supply of non- perishable food on hand (canned, bottled, and/or boxed) and bottled water that can last you for 3 to 4 days.
-In case of flooding, food should be stored on shelves that will be safely out of the way of contaminated water. Make sure to have bottled water stored where it will be as safe as possible from flooding.
-Turn the refrigerator thermostat to its coldest setting and keep its doors closed. Check to ensure that the freezer temperature is at or below 0 °F and the refrigerator is at or below 40 °F.
-Make sure you have appliance thermometers in your refrigerator and freezer.
-In case of a power outage, the appliance thermometers will indicate the temperatures in the refrigerator and freezer to help you determine if the food is safe.
-Freeze containers of water for ice to help keep food cold in the freezer, refrigerator, or coolers in case the power goes out. If your normal water supply is contaminated or unavailable, the melting ice will also supply drinking water.
-Freeze refrigerated items such as leftovers, milk, and fresh meat and poultry that you may not need immediately. This helps keep them at a safe temperature longer.
-Group food together in the freezer. This helps the food stay cold longer.
-Have coolers on hand to keep refrigerated food cold if the power will be out for more than 4 hours.
-Purchase or make ice cubes in advance and store in the freezer for use in the refrigerator or in a cooler. Freeze gel packs ahead of time for use in coolers.
-Anticipate and prepare in advance for transportation, nutritional and medical needs.
-If the authorities from Civil Protection tell you to evacuate your home, do so. Do not hesitate, leave immediately, and find a shelter.
-If you have, pets contact Animal Control Centro at 872-5795. They will provide a safe haven for your pets.
What to do during a hurricane
Authorities will transmit information on the weather conditions every three hours as the storm approaches and during the storm.
Stay away from the sea. Stay indoors during the hurricane and away from windows and glass doors away from heavy winds.
Close all interior doors—secure and brace external doors.
Keep curtains and blinds closed. Do not be fooled if there is a lull; it could be the eye of the storm – winds will pick up again.
Take refuge in a small interior room, closet, or hallway on the lowest level.
Lie on the floor under a table or another sturdy object.
DO NOT leave your home or shelter until the authorities have announced it is safe to do so.
BEWARE OF THE EYE OF THE HURRICANE! If the eye of the hurricane passes over the island, it will be calm. During this time, DO NOT GO outside of your home or shelter. The winds will regain new strength and without warning start blowing in the opposite direction.
Once The Power Goes Out:
Here are basic tips for keeping food safe:
Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible to maintain the cold temperature.
The refrigerator will keep food cold for about 4 hours if it is unopened.
A full freezer will keep the temperature for approximately 48 hours (24 hours if it is half-full) if the door remains closed.
If you plan to eat refrigerated or frozen meat, poultry, fish, or eggs while it is still at safe temperatures, it is important that each item be cooked thoroughly to the proper temperature to assure that any food borne bacteria that may be present is destroyed. However, if at any point the foods were above 40 °F for 2 hours or more — discard it.
Wash fruits and vegetables with water from a safe source before eating.
For infants, try to use prepared, canned baby formula that requires no added water. Concentrated or powdered formulas should be prepared with bottled water if the local water source is potentially contaminated.
What to do after a hurricane
Be careful with fences, walls, houses, and buildings that might be in danger of collapse. Do not touch downed cables.
Do not move anyone that is seriously injured, instead, call the authorities.
Continue listening for information transmitted by authorities, and if you can join to help in the reconstruction and clean up.
You will need to determine the safety of your food. Here is how:
If an appliance thermometer was kept in the freezer, check the temperature when the power comes back on and If the thermometer reads 40°F or below, the food is safe for consumption and may be refrozen.
If a thermometer has not been kept in the freezer, check each package of food to determine its safety. You cannot rely on appearance or odor, if the food still contains ice crystals or is 40 °F or below, it is safe to refreeze or cook.
Refrigerated food should be safe as long as the power was out for no more than 4 hours and the refrigerator door was kept shut. Discard any perishable food (such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs, or leftovers) that has been above 40°F for two hours or more.
Keep in mind that perishable food such as meat, poultry, seafood, milk, and eggs that are not kept adequately refrigerated or frozen may cause illness if consumed, even when they are thoroughly cooked.
Aurita’s Cozumel Corner
The Cozumel Sun Garage Sale
The Sun Garage Sale, formerly known as “The On-Going Garage Sale” was started as a means to collect gently used clothing and goods to be donated to the poor and/or sold at low cost to raise funds for our many projects in Las Fincas and our immediate neighborhood.
Our Papeleria is in the RED, we have had so many families in the immediate neighborhood without the funds to pay for school supplies, uniforms, and enrollment fees. We are over $25,000 pesos in the red (close to $2,000 usd). We cannot turn down helping a child with educational expenses. School just started Monday and people are coming in daily asking for help. PLEASE assist us by donating your gently used clothing and household goods or make a cash donation.
Drop off the items you no longer use or need at our home/store #1081 35 Avenida between Calles 17 & 15 Bis. You can also call at 987-118-4453 or 987-120-5902 to arrange a pick up at your home. All Clothing, Housewares, Furniture, Appliances, etc. will be greatly appreciated. Your donations or proceeds from your donations are guaranteed to go towards a family in need.
Isla Cozumel Social Networks:
Cozumel Civil Registry Office Has Moved
They are no longer on 65th and 11th! They are at a bigger, more accessible location on Avenida Benito Juarez and 15th. Their internet will not be in place for another week, so all their services are not fully available at this time.
Mexico Travel Warning and Cozumel
The United States Government issued a new travel Warning to Mexico on August 22nd that includes our state of Quintana Roo. COZUMEL HAS NOT HAD ANY TOURISTS OR LOCALS MURDERED, I do not know why we are even mentioned. There is no Cartel or Gang related violence here, our biggest problem is an increase in home burglary by delinquents due to a shortage of municipal police to patrol the colonies. We have hundreds of English speaking American, Canadian, and Europeans living on the island permanently and part time. There is an occasional home burglary, car or motorcycle theft, and even a purse or backpack snatching. There was a time were these things were unheard of on this island paradise, but times have changed, as in the rest of the world. As I have stated before, use COMON SENSE when visiting anywhere. Do not flash cash or jewelry, do not get drunk and roam the streets after dark, do not leave your belongings unattended, use hotel safes, do not do anything here that you would not do in a city back home!
For further information:
- See the State Department’s travel website for the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Country Specific Information for Mexico.
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- Contact the U.S. Embassy in Mexico, located at Paseo de la Reforma 305, Colonia Cuauhtemoc, at +52-55-5080- 2000 x4440, (5080-2000 for calls in Mexico City, 01-55-5080-2000 for long distance calls in Mexico) 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. After- hours emergency number for U.S. citizens is +52-55-5080-2000.
- Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
- Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)
Stay Informed, Stay Connected, Stay Safe. Enroll in STEP!
What is STEP?
The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) is a free service that allows U.S. citizens traveling or living abroad to enroll with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.
Benefits of enrolling in STEP:
- Receive the latest safety and security information for your destination country, helping you make informed decisions about your travel plans.
- Help the U.S. Embassy contact you in an emergency, whether natural disaster, civil unrest, or family emergency.
- Help family and friends get in touch with you in an emergency.
When you enroll in STEP, you will automatically receive the most current information we have about your destination country, including:
- Security and Emergency Message updates from the U.S. Embassy
- Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts
Just sign up once, and then add trips later for all your future travel plans!
Enrolling in STEP will help the U.S. Embassy to contact you and provide assistance to you in an emergency. The information you provide in STEP will make it easier for consular officers at U.S. embassies and consulates around the world to contact you and your loved ones during an emergency — including situations where your family or friends in the U.S. are having difficulty contacting you with important news.
We believe that a well-informed traveler is a safer traveler. Our consular officers around the world compile Country Specific Information, Travel Alerts, Travel Warnings, fact sheets and emergency messages to provide you with timely and accurate information about every country where you may travel.
We include reports on risks and security threats so that you can make informed decisions about your travel plans and activities.
Stay informed by connecting with us via the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program so you can have safe and enjoyable travels!
Mexico Travel Warning LAST UPDATED: AUGUST 22, 2017
The U.S. Department of State warns U.S. citizens about the risk of traveling to certain parts of Mexico due to the activities of criminal organizations in those areas. U.S. citizens have been the victims of violent crimes, including homicide, kidnapping, carjacking, and robbery in various Mexican states. This Travel Warning replaces the Travel Warning for Mexico issued December 8, 2016.
For information on security conditions in specific regions of Mexico, see our state-by-state assessments below. U.S. government personnel and their families are prohibited from personal travel to all areas to which the Department recommends “defer non-essential travel” in this Travel Warning. As a result of security precautions that U.S. government personnel must take while traveling to parts of Mexico, our response time to emergencies involving U.S. citizens may be hampered or delayed.
Gun battles between rival criminal organizations or with Mexican authorities have taken place on streets and in public places during broad daylight. The Mexican government dedicates substantial resources to protect visitors to major tourist destinations and has engaged in an extensive effort to counter criminal organizations that engage in narcotics trafficking and other unlawful activities throughout Mexico. There is no evidence that criminal organizations have targeted U.S. citizens based on their nationality. Resort areas and tourist destinations in Mexico generally do not see the level of drug-related violence and crime that are reported in the border region or in areas along major trafficking routes.
U.S. government personnel are prohibited from patronizing adult clubs and gambling establishments in the states of Coahuila, Durango, Zacatecas, Aguascalientes, San Luis Potosi, Nuevo Leon, Tamaulipas, Jalisco, Colima, and Nayarit.
Kidnappings in Mexico take the following forms:
- Traditional: victim is physically abducted and held captive until a ransom is paid for release.
- Express: victim is abducted for a short time and commonly forced to withdraw money, usually from an ATM, then released.
- Virtual: an extortion-by-deception scheme where a victim is contacted by phone and coerced by threats of violence to provide phone numbers of family and friends, and then isolated until the ransom is paid. Recently, hotel guests have been targets of such “virtual” kidnapping schemes.
U.S. citizens have been murdered in carjackings and highway robberies, most frequently at night and on isolated roads. Carjackers use a variety of techniques, including roadblocks, bumping/moving vehicles to force them to stop, and running vehicles off the road at high speeds. There are indications that criminals target newer and larger vehicles, but drivers of old sedans and buses coming from the United States are also targeted. U.S. government personnel are not permitted to drive from the U.S.-Mexico border to or from the interior parts of Mexico. U.S. government personnel are prohibited from intercity travel after dark in many areas of Mexico. U.S. citizens should use toll roads (cuotas) whenever possible. In remote areas, cell phone coverage is limited or non-existent.
The Mexican government has deployed federal police and military personnel throughout the country as part of its efforts to combat organized criminal groups. U.S. citizens traveling on Mexican roads and highways by car or bus may encounter government checkpoints, staffed by military or law enforcement personnel. In some places, criminal organizations have erected their own unauthorized checkpoints, at times wearing police and military uniforms, and have killed or abducted motorists who have failed to stop at them. You should cooperate at all checkpoints.
State-by-State Assessment: Below is a state-by-state assessment of security conditions throughout Mexico. Travelers should be mindful that even if no advisories are in effect for a given state, U.S. citizens should exercise caution throughout Mexico as crime and violence can still occur. For general information about travel and other conditions in Mexico, see our Country Specific Information.
Aguascalientes: Intercity travel at night is prohibited for U.S. government personnel.
Baja California (includes Tijuana, Rosarito, Ensenada, Tecate, and Mexicali): Exercise caution in the northern state of Baja California, particularly at night. Criminal activity and violence, including homicide, remain an issue throughout the state. According to the Baja California State Secretariat for Public Security, the state of Baja California experienced an increase in homicide rates compared to the same period in 2016. While most of these homicides appeared to be targeted, criminal organization assassinations, turf battles between criminal groups have resulted in violent crime in areas frequented by U.S. citizens. Shooting incidents injuring innocent bystanders have occurred during daylight hours. Due to poor cellular service and general road conditions, U.S. government personnel are only allowed to travel on “La Rumarosa” between Mexicali-Tijuana on the toll road during daylight hours.
Baja California Sur (includes Los Cabos and La Paz): Criminal activity and violence, including homicide, remain an issue throughout the state. Exercise caution as Baja California Sur continues to experience a high rate of homicides. According to Secretaría de Seguridad Pública del Estado de Baja California and Secretaría de Gobernación statistics, the state of Baja California Sur experienced an increase in homicide rates compared to the same period in 2016. While most of these homicides appeared to be targeted, criminal organization assassinations, turf battles between criminal groups have resulted in violent crime in areas frequented by U.S. citizens. Shooting incidents, in which innocent bystanders have been injured, have occurred during daylight hours.
Campeche: No advisory is in effect.
Chiapas (includes Palenque and San Cristobal de las Casas): U.S. government personnel must remain in tourist areas and are not allowed to use public transportation.
Chihuahua (includes Ciudad Juarez, the city of Chihuahua, Ojinaga, Palomas, Nuevo Casas Grandes and Copper Canyon): Criminal activity and violence remains an issue throughout the state of Chihuahua and its major cities. If you plan to drive in the state of Chihuahua, you should limit travel to daylight hours on major highways and follow the recommendations below.
- Ciudad Juarez: Exercise caution in all areas. U.S. government personnel are prohibited from traveling after dark west of Eje Juan Gabriel and south of Boulevard Zaragoza. Defer non-essential travel to the areas southeast of Boulevard Independencia and the Valle de Juarez region.
- Within the city of Chihuahua: Defer non-essential travel to the Morelos, Villa, and Zapata districts, where the travel of U.S. government personnel is restricted.
- Ojinaga: Travel via U.S. Highway 67 through the Presidio, Texas port-of-entry.
- Palomas and the Nuevo Casas Grandes/Paquime region: Use U.S. Highway 11 through the Columbus, New Mexico port-of- entry.
- Nuevo Casas Grandes: U.S. government personnel are prohibited from traveling outside of city limits after dark.
- Copper Canyon and other areas of the state of Chihuahua: U.S. citizens should defer non-essential travel.
Coahuila: U.S. citizens should defer non-essential travel to Coahuila, with the exception of Saltillo, Bosques de Monterreal, and Parras de la Fuente, because of the high incidence of violent crime, particularly along the highways between Piedras Negras and Nuevo Laredo. State and municipal law enforcement capacity is limited in some parts of Coahuila, particularly in the north. U.S. government personnel are allowed to travel during daylight hours to Saltillo, Bosques de Monterreal, and Parras de la Fuente, using the most direct routes and maximizing the use of toll highways. Between 1 a.m. and 6 a.m., U.S. government personnel must abide by the Embassy-imposed curfew and remain within Saltillo, Bosques de Monterreal, or Parras de la Fuente.
Colima (includes Manzanillo): U.S. government personnel are prohibited from intercity travel at night, from traveling within 12 miles of the Colima-Michoacán border, and from traveling on Route 110 between La Tecomaca and the Jalisco border. U.S. citizens should defer non-essential travel to this border region, including the city of Tecoman.
Durango: Violence and criminal activity along the highways are a continuing security concern. U.S. government personnel may travel outside of the city of Durango only during daylight hours on toll roads. Between 1 a.m. and 6 a.m., U.S. government personnel must abide by the Embassy-imposed curfew and remain within the city of Durango.
Estado de Mexico (includes Toluca and Teotihuacan): U.S. citizens should defer all non-essential travel to the municipalities of Coacalco, Ecatepec, Nezahualcoyotl, La Paz, Valle del Chalco, Solidaridad, Chalco, Ixtapaluca, and Tlatlaya due to high rates of crime and insecurity, unless traveling directly through the areas on major thoroughfares. Avoid traveling on any roads between Huitzilac, Morelos, and Santa Martha, Estado de Mexico, including the Lagunas de Zempoala National Park and surrounding areas.
Guanajuato (includes San Miguel de Allende and Leon): No advisory is in effect.
Guerrero (includes Acapulco, Ixtapa, Taxco, and Zihuatanejo): Personal travel to the entire state of Guerrero, including Acapulco, is prohibited for U.S. government personnel. Self-defense groups operate independently of the government in many areas of Guerrero. Armed members of these groups frequently maintain roadblocks and, although not considered hostile to foreigners or tourists, are suspicious of outsiders and should be considered volatile and unpredictable.
Hidalgo: No advisory is in effect.
Jalisco (includes Guadalajara, Puerto Vallarta, and Lake Chapala): U.S. citizens should defer non-essential travel to areas that border the states of Michoacán and Zacatecas because of continued instability. U.S. government personnel are prohibited from personal travel to areas of Jalisco that border Zacatecas, intercity travel after hours, and from using Highway 80 between Cocula and La Huerta. U.S. government personnel are authorized to use Federal toll road 15D for travel to Mexico City; however, they may not stop in the town of La Barca or Ocotlan for any reason.
Mexico City (formerly known as the Federal District): No advisory is in effect.
Michoacan (includes Morelia): U.S. citizens should defer non-essential travel to the state of Michoacan, except the cities of Morelia and Lazaro Cardenas, and the area north of federal toll road 15D. U.S. government personnel are prohibited from traveling by land in Michoacan except on federal toll road 15D during daylight hours. Flying into Morelia and Lazaro Cardenas is permitted for U.S. government personnel.
Morelos (includes Cuernavaca): U.S. citizens should defer non-essential travel on any roads between Huitzilac in the northwest corner of the state and Santa Martha, Estado de Mexico, including the Lagunas de Zempoala National Park and surrounding areas.
Nayarit (includes the Riviera Nayarit coast, including the cities of Tepic, Xalisco, and San Blas): U.S. government personnel may travel to Riviera Nayarit, San Blas, Santa María del Oro, Tepic, and Xalisco using major highways. Intercity travel at night is prohibited for U.S. government personnel. Defer non-essential travel to other areas of the state.
Nuevo Leon (includes Monterrey): U.S. government personnel may travel outside the city of Monterrey only during daylight hours on toll roads. Between 1 a.m. and 6 a.m., U.S. government personnel must abide by the Embassy-imposed curfew and remain within the municipal boundaries of San Pedro Garza Garcia or Santa Catarina (south of the Santa Catarina river). Travel to and from Monterrey airport is permitted at any time.
Oaxaca (includes Oaxaca, Huatulco, and Puerto Escondido): U.S. government personnel must remain in tourist areas and are not allowed to use public transportation in Oaxaca City. U.S. government personnel are prohibited from traveling on Highway 200 throughout the state, except to transit between the airport in Huatulco to hotels in Puerto Escondido and Huatulco, and they are not permitted to travel to the El Istmo region. The El Istmo region is defined by Highway 185D to the west, Highway 190 to the north, and the Oaxaca/Chiapas border to the east and includes the towns of Juchitan de Zaragoza, Salina Cruz, and San Blas.
Puebla: No advisory is in effect.
Queretaro: No advisory is in effect.
Quintana Roo (includes Cancun, Cozumel, Playa del Carmen, Riviera Maya, and Tulum): U.S. citizens should be aware that according to Government of Mexico statistics, the state of Quintana Roo experienced an increase in homicide rates compared to 2016. While most of these homicides appeared to be targeted criminal organization assassinations, turf battles between criminal groups have resulted in violent crime in areas frequented by U.S. citizens. Shooting incidents, in which innocent bystanders have been injured or killed, have occurred.
San Luis Potosi: U.S. government personnel may travel outside the city of San Luis Potosi only during daylight hours on toll roads. Between 1 a.m. and 6 a.m., U.S. government personnel must abide by the Embassy-imposed curfew and remain within the city of San Luis Potosi.
Sinaloa (includes Mazatlan): One of Mexico’s most powerful criminal organizations is based in the state of Sinaloa, and violent crime rates remain high in many parts of the state. Defer non-essential travel to the state of Sinaloa, except the cities of Mazatlan, Los Mochis, and the Port of Topolobampo. Travel in Mazatlan should be limited to Zona Dorada, the historic town center, as well as direct routes to and from these locations and the airport. Travel in Los Mochis and Topolobampo is restricted to the city and the port, as well as direct routes to/from these locations and the airport.
Sonora (includes Nogales, Puerto Peñasco, Hermosillo, and San Carlos): Sonora is a key region in the international drug and human trafficking trades. U.S. citizens traveling throughout Sonora are encouraged to limit travel to main roads during daylight hours and exercise caution on the Highway 15 corridor from Nogales to Empalme. Puerto Peñasco should be visited using the Lukeville, Arizona/Sonoyta, Sonora border crossing, and limit driving to daylight hours.
Due to illegal activity, U.S. citizens should defer non-essential travel to:
- The triangular region west of Nogales, east of Sonoyta, and north of Caborca (including the towns of Saric, Tubutama, and Altar).
- The eastern edge of the state of Sonora, which borders the state of Chihuahua (all points along that border east of Federal Highway 17, the road between Moctezuma and Sahuaripa, and state Highway 20 between Sahuaripa and the intersection with Federal Highway 16).
- South of Hermosillo, with the exception of the cities of Alamos, Guaymas, and Empalme. Defer non-essential travel east of Highway 15, within the city of Ciudad Obregon, and south of the city of Navojoa.
Tabasco (includes Villahermosa): No advisory is in effect.
Tamaulipas (includes Matamoros, Nuevo Laredo, Reynosa, and Tampico): U.S. citizens should defer all non-essential travel to the state of Tamaulipas due to violent crime, including homicide, armed robbery, carjacking, kidnapping, extortion, and sexual assault. The number of reported kidnappings in Tamaulipas is among the highest in Mexico. State and municipal law enforcement capacity is limited to nonexistent in many parts of Tamaulipas. Violent criminal activity occurs more frequently along the northern border and organized criminal groups may target public and private passenger buses traveling through Tamaulipas. These groups sometimes take all passengers hostage and demand ransom payments. U.S. government personnel are subject to movement restrictions and a curfew between midnight and 6 a.m. Matamoros, Reynosa, Nuevo Laredo, and Ciudad Victoria have experienced numerous gun battles and attacks with explosive devices in the past year.
Tlaxcala: No advisory is in effect.
Veracruz: U.S. government personnel must remain in tourist areas and are not allowed to use public transportation. Road travel should be limited to daylight hours only.
Yucatan (includes Merida and Chichen Itza): No advisory is in effect.
Zacatecas: U.S. government personnel may travel outside the city of Zacatecas only during daylight hours on toll roads. Between 1 a.m. and 6 a.m., U.S. government personnel must abide by the Embassy-imposed curfew and remain within the city of Zacatecas.