U.S. Travel Alert, Criminals followed & harassed U.S. citizens, Robberies, homicides, petty thefts, & carjackings have increased in Mexico. U.S. citizens have been kidnapped across Mexico. Many of these cases remain unresolved. (You can go there but you may not come back...) ---- PUBLIC DOCUMENT: Excerpt: http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/pa/pa_3028.html Travel Alert U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE ---- This information is current as of today, Tue Mar 17, 2009 Crime and Violence Throughout Mexico Mexican and foreign bystanders have been injured or killed in violent attacks in cities across the country, demonstrating the heightened risk of violence in public places. U.S. citizens have been kidnapped across Mexico. Many of these cases remain unresolved. Mexican army and police have had confrontations with the drug cartels employing automatic weapons and grenades. Large firefights have taken place in many towns and cities across Mexico. U.S. citizens have been trapped and temporarily prevented from leaving the area. The U.S. Mission in Mexico currently restricts non-essential travel to the state of Durango and all parts of the state of Coahuila south of Mexican Highways 25 and 22 and the Alamos River for U.S. government employees. This restriction was implemented in light of the recent increase in assaults, murders, and kidnappings in those two states, the timing of future armed engagements cannot be predicted. Robberies, homicides, petty thefts, and carjackings have all increased over the last year across Mexico generally. Criminals have followed and harassed U.S. citizens traveling in their vehicles in border areas. In Ciudad Juarez, Mexico authorities report that more than 1,800 people have been killed in the city since January 2008. Additionally, more than 17,000 car thefts and 1,650 carjackings in 2008. A recent series of muggings near the U.S. Consulate General in Ciudad Juarez targeted applicants for U.S. visas. Criminals are armed with a wide array of sophisticated weapns. In some cases, assailants have worn full or partial police or military uniforms and have used vehicles that resemble police vehicles. The uncertain security situation poses serious risks for U.S. citizens. Demonstrations occur frequently throughout Mexico, demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate to violence unexpectedly. Violent demonstrations have resulted in deaths, including that of an American citizen in Oaxaca. The Mexican Constitution prohibits political activities by foreigners, and such actions may result in detention and/or deportation. U.S. citizens are therefore advised to avoid participating in demonstrations or other activities that might be deemed political by Mexican authorities.