Security Issues -- Nuevo Laredo, Matamoros and south

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Security Issues -- Nuevo Laredo, Matamoros and south


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Old 11th March 2010, 06:34 PM
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Exclamation Security Issues -- Nuevo Laredo, Matamoros and south

Last night the Consular Officer in charge of the American Citizens Services Unit at the consulate in Monterry spoke in San Luis Potosi. While sometimes the state dept. travel warnings can be somewhat alarmist, I thought folks should at least be aware of what is being said about the sitation.

Points made by the officer:

1. It used to be that Juarez was where most of the border drug-related murders and shootouts occured, now they are seeing it from Nuevo Loredo to Matamoros also.
2. A year ago, he would have said that driving from SLP to Loredo, on the cuotas and using common sense, would be safe. Now he can't say that. Both Nuevo Loredo and Reynosa are a "fluid situation".
3. The US Consulate in Monterrey is limiting temp. duty assignments there; they don't want to bring in more people thant hey have to.
4. There has been a "significant increase" in the amount of carjackings in Monterrey. In one 48-hour period recently, there were 37 carjackings. They feel they are being done to replace vehicles lost in gun battles. the carjackers are targeting mostly large SUV's and pick-ups.
5. The drug people are also going so far as to wear fake military uniforms and set up false checkpoints. The officer said "you are not who they're looking for", just act normal as at any checkpoint and you should be safe.
6. The peak hours for gun violence is 3 pm-4 am. If you need to drive up to Laredo, try to leave at a time so you will arrive before 3 pm.
7. Although there has been a "pronounced increase" in the number of kidnappings in the consulate's territory, they are still mostly drug-related and they don't feel that gringos are being targeted unless involved in the drug trade.

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Old 13th March 2010, 08:30 PM
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Default Nuevo Laredo vs. Colombia Crossing

Did the speaker address the relative risks of using the Colombia Bridge crossing vs. the crossing in Nuevo Laredo? (On another forum, a person who lives in Nuevo Laredo believes that there are actually more potential security problems in taking the road between the Monterrey-Nuevo Laredo autopista and the area of the Colombia crossing than in staying on the autopista and taking one of the bridges in Nuevo Laredo.)

I am currently debating what to do.

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Old 13th March 2010, 08:49 PM
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In my opinion, all of this discussion and speculation is creating a certain level of hysteria on this topic. I would suggest that driving in the daylight hours be the main precaution, followed by not making yourself an obvious target by having your car loaded with obvious 'goodies'.
The caution regarding driving in sparsely populated areas with little traffic, especially in border areas, is probably good advice.

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Old 14th March 2010, 04:52 AM
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Thanks for the update. It sounds as though I should consider an alternative way to move my stuff to Mexico rather than drive my 2006 Dodge Ram Megacab from Nuevo Loredo to Puebla and back to the border.

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Old 14th March 2010, 01:56 PM
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The Consulate officer at first reccomended using the Columbia bridge rather than going through NL. But when questioned about how deserted the area is, he shrugged and admitted there were risks both ways.
Cars being targeted, according to the officer, are not cars filled with shopping from Laredo, but. as was said, large SUV's and pick-ups. Like a Dodge Ram MegaCab, I would suppose.

I hope this isn't creating hysteria. But I do think people should be aware of the facts and make their own decisions based on that. What I listed above were what the consulate officer said were facts. He didn't speculate much because he wanted to stick to the facts that were known. And carjackings are occurring in daylight hours.

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Old 14th March 2010, 03:20 PM
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Well, I'll report on what I see because I'm starting off on that very drive this morning. We decided to break our drive into 2 days and spend the night in Matehuala. That we we'll hit the border a little after noon tomorrow instead of 6:00 this evening.
I decided that Colombia will be the crossing point and we'll be in my trusty ole' 2002 Honda Accord that, I hope, shouldn't attract much attention. I must admit that this thread made me a little nervous but we are trying to use common sense.... and heck, there was just a shooting near my old house in "quiet" suburban Chicagoland! If one wants to worry, you can always find something to worry about.

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Old 14th March 2010, 04:06 PM
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Yes, indeed. There was crime around my "quiet" suburban Chicagoland neighborhood, too. Common sense is always a good idea. Getting into Laredo before 3 pm just seems like common sense at this point in time.

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Old 15th March 2010, 02:09 AM
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The US Embassy has just put out a much more extensive warning with separate sections on the 3 north west border states, border cities from Nuevo Laredo to Matamoros plus Monterrey. Normal common sense statements for the rest of Mexico.

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Old 15th March 2010, 03:08 AM
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I'm going to say this. I must have ridden that route frequently within the past year (I have things I go up to the border for) and the problem stops once you leave Nuevo Laredo. I've never known people to have issues once they get out of NL. You can take that little road that goes around Nuevo Laredo from the car permit station (if you're a foreigner) and then get on highway 85 and then straight on to Monterrey. Where the problem may occur is if you stray off the main roads going south out of NL.

It's unfortunate the news makes such a big thing out of this, but it's not. Many people ask me if the problem is nationwide, it's not and you hardly notice it even on the local news here, but it will make the U.S. news.

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Old 15th March 2010, 01:47 PM
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Rodrigo, the info that I posted had nothing to do with the news. It had to do with what the consulate in Monterrey is seeing. And the concerns pre-date this weekend's events. No, it's not nationwide. And the State Dept.'s latest travel warning does not say that.
Unfortunately, the US News does distort things sometimes. My mother asked me if I was safe yesterday, and I told her I'm hundreds of miles away from Juarez. Of course, she'd heard something on the news.

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