Canada has issued a statement advising against any non-essential travel to areas immediately south of the U.S.-Mexico border.
According to the federal government website, there is currently a high level of violence linked to organized crime along the 28th parallel. Canadian travellers are particularly advised to avoid crossing the border by car, as the risk of encountering gang-related activity is much higher by land than by air.
“We strongly recommend travelling to Mexico by air to avoid land border crossings, particularly in the northern states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León, Sonora and Tamaulipas,” reads the advisory. “In northern Mexico, particularly along the border with the United States, organized crime and urban violence greatly affect security. Confrontations between organized criminal groups and Mexican authorities continue to pose a problem.”
“Shootouts, attacks and illegal roadblocks may occur without warning. Avoid inter-city road travel in the northern states. Heavily armed gangs have attacked travelers driving through the state of Tamaulipas and on several highways in the states of Coahuila, Durango, Nuevo León and Sinaloa.”
The advisory also warns that criminals are especially targeting sports utility vehicles and full-size pickup trucks for theft and carjacking along the highways. Kidnappings are also frequent occurences, with the wealthy and middle class the most at risk.
Canadians who are planning to travel to Mexico during the Canada Day long weekend should be extra vigilant, as July 1 marks Mexico’s presidential elections. Travellers are advised to:
- Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
- Follow the instructions of local authorities
- Monitor local media for the latest information
For more information, visit travel.gc.ca/destinations/mexico.