Washington -- The U.S. State Department
has extended its previous warnings on travel to Mexico,
citing increased violence along the Mexican side of the
In a July 26 statement, U.S. Ambassador
to Mexico Tony Garza said more than 100 violent deaths have
occurred on the Mexican border since June. Garza said 18
policemen in the Mexican state of Nuevo Laredo have been
killed in 2005, including eight in July.
"These disturbing reports make clear
that Mexico needs to do much more to bring safety and security
to our common border," said Garza, who pointed out
that the State Department had issued two previous warnings
in 2005 on the subject of traveling to Mexico.
But on a more positive note, the ambassador
said the Mexican government is beginning to address concerns
about the "unacceptable level of violence along our
Garza commended the government of Mexican
President Vicente Fox for initiating "Operation Secure
Mexico," which deployed hundreds of Mexican federal
agents and military personnel in the areas hit hardest by
gangs and drug traffickers.
Garza reiterated that putting an end to
violence along the border is a "shared responsibility"
of the United States and Mexico.
The envoy said that as a "friend of
Mexico and a partner in its struggle to restore order to
the area," the United States is providing assistance
to its southern neighbor's law enforcement agencies and
"I have held talks with officials at
the highest levels of the Mexican government to underscore
my belief that the prosperity of our two countries depends
in no small part on stability and a firm commitment to stop
the violence," Garza said.
To this end, he added, "we have a productive
and ongoing dialogue with officials from the Mexican attorney
general's office, as well as the governors and attorneys
general of Texas and the Mexican states of Chihuahua and
"A lot of hard work lies ahead in our
common effort to put an end to lawlessness along our border,"
However, Garza added that he is convinced
that the Mexican government "is working to address
the situation," adding: "We must recognize that
this important task will not be accomplished overnight;
we must remain steadfast and vigilant, because the stakes
are too high. Both countries recognize that the movement
of goods and people depends on good governance and respect
for the law. In my view, the American and Mexican people
deserve nothing less."
The most up-to-date factual information
on conditions affecting travelers in Mexico is available
on the State Department's "Consular Information Sheet,"
Garza said this information "will be revised as necessary."
Garza's entire statement is posted on the
Web site of the U.S. Embassy in Mexico at:
Washington File Staff Writer