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Safety & Security

Safety & Security

Because so much reporting has been dedicated as of late to the violence between rival drug cartels in Mexico, we would like to help our site-visitors sort through fact and fiction, realism and sensationalism.*

Related articles:

Q: Is Mexico a dangerous place to visit?
A: To bunch Mexico into one basket would be an irresponsible generalization, as currently the majority of the violence is concentrated in Tijuana, Ciudad Juarez, Nuevo Laredo, Nogales and Matamoros.

And even if a traveler were to go to those cities, the violence is between rival cartels and not typically directed at tourists. Not visiting Puerto Vallarta or Hermosillo, because there is cartel violence in Juarez City would be the equivalent of not going to Minneapolis or Springfield because there is gang violence in Compton, Los Angeles.

Q: I have heard of shootings in public. Where is this taking place?
A: In Ciudad Juarez, Nuevo Laredo, and Tijuana, shootings have taken place at busy intersections and at popular restaurants during daylight hours. The wave of violence has been aimed primarily at members of drug trafficking organizations, criminal justice officials and journalists. However, foreign visitors and residents, including Americans, have been among the victims of homicides and kidnappings in the border region. In recent months, the worst violence has been centered in the city of Nuevo Laredo in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas, where numerous people were kidnapped and/or murdered.

Q: Have you ever had any patients report violent confrontations while in Mexico?
A: No, we have never had any patient report having experienced, witnessed or heard of any violence while traveling for health care in Mexico.

Q: What is the number one cause of death to foreign visitors to Mexico?
A: Car accidents

Q: I have read of politically motivated violence in Mexico. Is this a concern?
A: This is a concern only if you are visiting the states of Oaxaca, Guerrero or Chiapas and plan to attack the local indigenous population. Otherwise no. Visitors to Mexico are not targeted under such circumstances.

The following was published by the US state department on April 14th, 2008:

Q: Don’t U.S. citizens have to be careful wherever they travel? All countries have crime, why has Mexico been singled out?
A: Mexico has not been singled out. Travel Alerts are issued in cases in which a temporary situation which may affect the safety and security of U.S. citizens arises within a country or region. The State Department has also issued a Worldwide Caution for all Americans traveling abroad.

Q: Are Americans being told not to travel to Mexico?
A: No. The Travel Alert only gives information to American citizens about a temporary situation, which may affect their safety and security. It is hoped that all American travelers will heed the information provided if they choose to travel. The U.S. government in no way targets foreign countries or regions, and does not intend to affect the local tourism industries or economies. However, the USG does have the responsibility to inform U.S. citizens of conditions that could potentially affect their safety and wellbeing.

The U.S. Department of State published the following warning for US visitors to any country outside the United States:

Safety on the Street

Use the same common sense traveling overseas that you would at home. Be especially cautious in (or avoid) areas where you may be more easily victimized. These include crowded subways, train stations, elevators, tourist sites, market places, festivals and crime-ridden neighborhoods.

•Don’t use short cuts, narrow alleys or poorly lit streets.
•Try not to travel alone at night.
•Avoid public demonstrations and other civil disturbances.
•Keep a low profile and avoid loud conversations or arguments.
•Do not discuss travel plans or other personal matters with strangers.
•Avoid scam artists by being wary of strangers who approach you and offer to be your guide or sell you something at bargain prices.
•Beware of pickpockets. They often have an accomplice who will:
jostle you, ask you for directions or the time, point to something spilled on your clothing, or distract you by creating a disturbance.
•Beware of groups of vagrant children who could create a distraction to pick your pocket.
•Wear the shoulder strap of your bag across your chest and walk with the bag away from the curb to avoid drive-by purse-snatchers.
•Try to seem purposeful when you move about. Even if you are lost, act as if you know where you are going. Try to ask for directions only from individuals in authority.
•Know how to use a pay telephone and have the proper change or token on hand.
•Learn a few phrases in the local language or have them handy in written form so that you can signal your need for police or medical help.
•Make a note of emergency telephone numbers you may need: police, fire, your hotel, and the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. If you are confronted, don’t fight back — give up your valuables.

Testimonial » view all

Dear Robert,

Once again you came through for me. Thank you very much and pass my thanks again to Doctor Joya. What a brilliant man you have on your team.

As a gesture of my appreciation I will give you my phone number and feel free to pass it along to any of your future clients. I would be glad to share my experience. 715 209 7268

So long for now my friend, we will keep in touch.

Tim Sullivan

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Tim Sullivan - Inguinal Hernia Testimonial