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Mexico Travel: Thoughtful planning to reduce risk

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- The Department of State recently updated their travel warning to Mexico on Jan. 19.
This travel warning supersedes the previous warning as an effort to update travelers with information about the security situation and advise of restrictions affecting U.S. government personnel and U.S. citizens.

"The U.S. Department of State continues to warn citizens about the risk of traveling to certain places in Mexico due to threats to safety and security posed by organized criminal groups in the country," said Jason Painter, Antiterrorism and Mission Assurance Officer for the 21st Security Forces Squadron. "U.S. citizens have been the victims of violent crimes, such as homicide, kidnapping, carjacking, and robbery by organized criminal groups in various Mexican states."

Though crime remains prevalent in certain area states in Mexico, it continues to remain a major travel destination and the reason behind the most recent traveling restrictions.

Painter advises all government personnel planning a Mexican getaway to complete their Antiterrorism Level 1 training as well as receive a travel brief from the Air Force Office of Special Investigations.

"Group and unit commanders are accountable for ensuring their personnel are aware of U.S. NORTHCOM/AFNORTH Directives and DoD Electronic Foreign Clearance
Guide country requirements, imposed restrictions, and level of approval prior to official or non-official travel," said Painter.

Travelers should always consider their surroundings, particularly when visiting an area they have not explored before.

"Personnel are to maintain awareness of their surroundings and avoid situations in which they may be isolated or stand out as potential victims," said Painter. This includes keeping a low profile and avoid displaying expensive jewelry, watches, or cameras.

Be aware that the current travel restrictions do not cover the entire country of Mexico. However, all U.S. government personnel are strongly recommended to avoid all areas that fall within restricted state status. These regions are known for increased criminal groups and activity by the Mexican government.

If you are planning a vacation to Mexico, refer to the most recent travel warning to determine what precautionary measures are needed, if any, before you confirm any reservations.

The details of the travel warning can be found at the Department of State's website at:

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