Travel warning for Mexico issued


Monday, the U.S. Department of State issued a travel warning to Mexico due to increased violence in the northern part of the country.

Reports range from Americans being followed and harassed, to being mugged and even killed.

The department believes Mexican drug cartels are growing more violent as they fight each other and the authorities.

And there is a huge concern that innocent people will get caught in their crossfire.

The violence in northern Mexico has reached dangerous levels.

As a result, Americans are told to avoid the states of Durango, Coahuila, and Chihuahua, Sinaloa and Baja California.

In daylight, there have been public shootouts in the cities of Juarez, Tijuana and Nogales.

And it was in Juarez on Saturday that two Americans were killed.

U.S. consulate employee Lesley Enriquez and husband Arthur Redelf were followed in their car by hitmen, then shot.

Their infant daughter was unharmed.

The mayor of Juarez told NBC the criminals are becoming more brazen.

“There’s a police station very close, this is a very patrolled street, it happened in an instant,” Mayor Jose Reyes Ferriz.

Also Saturday, another death. The husband of another U.S. consulate employee was gunned down in Juarez.

His two children, ages 4 and 7, were hurt.

“It’s a line that we didn’t think the criminals would cross, they’d did. it creates a lot of more worries for us,” Ferriz said.

And the escalating violence in northern Mexico has created enough concern that family members of U.S. consulate employees living there are authorized to leave.

Mexico is a popular destination spot for some people in the Treasure Valley, especially college students on spring break.

We checked in with a local travel agent Monday and so far no one has canceled their plans to head south of the border.

Global Travel doesn’t typically book trips to northern Mexico because there’s little interest.

“Most of our tourists are going to Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan. They like Cancun a lot, and so they’re going to the safer areas,” said Evelyn Loveless of Global Travel.