I haven’t watched the ISIS decapitation video of American photojournalist James Foley. But I read borderlandbeat.com, which regularly posts pictures of the mutilated bodies of Mexican drug thugs and innocent civilians. With police and government collusion, psychopathic criminals are kidnapping, raping, torturing and/or killing tens of thousands of disarmed Mexicans. One American is decapitated and the world is shocked by Islamic terror. Shocked I tell you! You could say, well, Foley was American. Guess what? “Nearly 70 kidnappings of U.S. citizens were reported to the U.S. Embassy and consulates in Mexico between January and June of 2014 . . . 71 Americans killed in Mexico in 2012 and in 2013 the number increased to 81.” Note: the cartels are here, in America. The Islamic terrorists, not so much. Yet. Make the jump for Mexico questions travel alert issued by U.S.-cites EPN’s “impressive results” (reprinted with permission) . . .
Mexico’s government, questioned the travel alert issued by the United States in which it cites warnings of the risk of violence prevailing in 19 states. Mexico’s position is that the information must be contextualized and detailed to be useful to US countrymen.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (SRE) pointed out that the security strategy of President Enrique Peña Nieto has achieved “impressive results”, as reflected in the reduction of 22 percent in the number of incidents of kidnapping, compared to last year .
On Friday, the State Department of the United States revised its warning to American citizens traveling to Aguascalientes, Baja California, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Colima, Durango, Mexico State, Guerrero, Jalisco, Michoacan, Morelos, Nayarit, Nuevo Leon, San Luis Potosi, Sinaloa, Sonora, Tamaulipas, Veracruz and Zacatecas.
However, the Mexican Foreign Ministry insists that the results of the security strategy have already had a positive impact both on trust and the welfare of foreigners visiting the country.
He stressed that the warning itself recognizes that Mexico is the most visited international destination for American citizens, and even pointed out that the figure of 20 million tourists in 2013 was exceeded.
The State Department explained that replaced the travel warning to Mexico issued on 9 January last, because American citizens have been the target of crimes including murder, kidnapping, carjacking and assault with a deadly weapon on several entities.
He said there were 71 Americans killed in Mexico in 2012 and in 2013 the number increased to 81.
However, he acknowledged the work of President Enrique Peña “has engaged in a broad effort to counter the organized criminal groups engaged in drug trafficking and other illegal activities.”
Although last Tuesday, Interior Minister, Miguel Angel Osorio Chong, headed the Regional Centre Zone Safety Meeting. He reported that this area was intentional homicides fell 32 percent during the first half of the year compared to the same period in 2013. Chong is the only source citing a decrease.
However, the State Department of the United States reported in its warning that the number of kidnappings in Mexico “appears to be increasing,” citing published by the Ministry of the Interior statistics, in which he noted that in 2013 the kidnappings throughout the country increased 20 percent.
“The states with the highest number of kidnappings were Tamaulipas, Guerrero, Michoacán, State of Mexico and Morelos. In addition, a study widely reported by the agency responsible for national statistics (INEGI), Mexico suffered an estimated 105 thousand 682 kidnappings in 2012; only 317 thousand were reported to the police and even that has been implicated in some chaos. “
Below is, in part, the warning from the state department:
The number of kidnappings throughout Mexico is of particular concern and appears to be on the rise. According to statistics published by the Mexican Secretaria de Gobernacion (SEGOB), in 2013 kidnappings nationwide increased 20 percent over the previous year. While kidnappings can occur anywhere, according to SEGOB, during this timeframe, the states with the highest numbers of kidnappings were Tamaulipas, Guerrero, Michoacán, Estado de Mexico, and Morelos.
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Additionally, according to a widely publicized study by the agency responsible for national statistics (INEGI, the National Institute of Statistics and Geography), Mexico suffered an estimated 105,682 kidnappings in 2012; only 1,317 were reported to the police. Police have been implicated in some of these incidents. Both local and expatriate communities have been victimized. Nearly 70 kidnappings of U.S. citizens were reported to the U.S. Embassy and consulates in Mexico between January and June of 2014.
U.S. citizens are encouraged to lower their personal profiles and to avoid displaying indicators of wealth such as expensive or expensive-looking jewelry, watches, or cameras. U.S. citizens are encouraged to maintain awareness of their surroundings and avoid situations in which they may be isolated or stand out as potential victims.
Kidnappings in Mexico have included traditional, “express,” and “virtual” kidnappings. Victims of traditional kidnappings are physically abducted and held captive until a ransom is paid for release. “Express” kidnappings are those in which a victim is abducted for a short time and forced to withdraw money, usually from an ATM, then released.
A “virtual” kidnapping is an extortion-by-deception scheme wherein a victim is contacted by phone and convinced to isolate themselves from family and friends until a ransom is paid. The victim is coerced (by threat of violence) to remain isolated and to provide phone numbers for the victim’s family or loved ones. The victim’s family is then contacted and a ransom for the “kidnapped” extracted. Recently, some travelers to Mexico staying at hotels as guests have been targets of such “virtual” kidnapping schemes.
Of particular safety concern are casinos, sports books, or other gambling establishments and adult entertainment establishments. U.S. government personnel are specifically prohibited from patronizing these establishments in the states of Coahuila, Durango, Zacatecas, Aguascalientes, San Luis Potosi, Nuevo Leon, and Tamaulipas.
Carjacking and highway robbery are serious problems in many parts of the border region, and U.S. citizens have been murdered in such incidents. Most victims who complied with carjackers’ demands have reported that they were not physically harmed. Carjackers have shot at vehicles that have attempted to flee. Incidents have occurred during the day and at night, and carjackers have used 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, especially dark-colored SUVs. However, even drivers of old sedans and buses coming from the United States have been targeted. While violent incidents can occur anywhere and at any time, they most frequently occur at night and on isolated roads. To reduce risk when traveling by road, we strongly urge you to travel between cities throughout Mexico only during daylight hours, to avoid isolated roads, and to use toll roads (“cuotas”) whenever possible.