MEXICO TRAVEL POLICY
The security situation in Mexico continues to be volatile and may pose a significant threat to members of the TXMF.
Effective 22 February 2009, all TXMF personnel who are in a Full-Time status (AGR, ADOS) and any who are in a paid military duty status (AT, IDT) are prohibited from travel to Mexico for discretionary or personal reasons.
This prohibition involves travel to all of Mexico, including popular tourist destinations. If there is some compelling reason that a person who fits the above parameters needs to travel to Mexico, they must submit a written request through their chain of command for exception to the TXMF Force Protection Office (J3). This request will be evaluated by the Force Protection Officer, and approved or disapproved in writing.
Traditional Guardsmen and other employees (not addressed above) are strongly encouraged to abide by this policy as well. However, if you elect not to follow the travel restrictions, personnel should very carefully review the full State Department travel alert and implement the cautionary practices recommended.
Below is an excerpt from the State Department Official Travel Alert in regards to Mexico. The full alert can be found at: http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/pa/pa_3028.html
This policy is in effect until 1 April 2009. It will be reassessed every ten days thereafter.
February 20, 2009
This Travel Alert updates security information for U.S. citizens traveling and living in Mexico. It supersedes the Travel Alert for Mexico dated October 15, 2008, and expires on August 20, 2009.
While millions of U.S. citizens safely visit Mexico each year (including thousands who cross the land border every day for study, tourism or business), violence in the country has increased recently. It is imperative that travelers understand the risks of travel to Mexico, how best to avoid dangerous situations, and whom to contact if one becomes a crime victim. Common-sense precautions such as visiting only legitimate business and tourist areas during daylight hours, and avoiding areas where prostitution and drug dealing might occur, can help ensure that travel to Mexico is safe and enjoyable.
A number of areas along the border are experiencing rapid growth in the rates of many types of crime. Robberies, homicides, petty thefts, and carjackings have all increased over the last year across Mexico generally, with notable spikes in Tijuana and northern Baja California. Ciudad Juarez, Tijuana and Nogales are among the cities which have recently experienced public shootouts during daylight hours in shopping centers and other public venues. Criminals have followed and harassed U.S. citizens traveling in their vehicles in border areas including Nuevo Laredo, Matamoros, and Tijuana.
The situation in Ciudad Juarez is of special concern. Mexican authorities report that more than 1,800 people have been killed in the city since January 2008. Additionally, this city of 1.6 million people experienced more than 17,000 car thefts and 1,650 carjackings in 2008. U.S. citizens should pay close attention to their surroundings while traveling in Ciudad Juarez, avoid isolated locations during late night and early morning hours, and remain alert to news reports. A recent series of muggings near the U.S. Consulate General in Ciudad Juarez targeted applicants for U.S. visas. Visa and other service seekers visiting the Consulate are encouraged to make arrangements to pay for those services using a non-cash method.
U.S. citizens are urged to be alert to safety and security concerns when visiting the border region. Criminals are armed with a wide array of sophisticated weapons. In some cases, assailants have worn full or partial police or military uniforms and have used vehicles that resemble police vehicles. While most crime victims are Mexican citizens, the uncertain security situation poses serious risks for U.S. citizens as well.