posted on Mar, 1 2009 @ 12:05 AM
from the Canadian Government site
3. SAFETY AND SECURITY
The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety. The purpose
of this Travel Report is to provide Canadians with up-to-date information to enable them to make well-informed decisions.
General Safety Measures
Demonstrations and protests regularly occur in large cities. Canadians should avoid large gatherings and demonstrations, which could lead to violent
incidents at all times. Participation in political demonstrations by foreigners is prohibited and may result in detention, expulsion and the denial of
future entry into Mexico.
Canadians travelling to the state of Oaxaca should monitor local media reports closely. Incidents, roadblocks and clashes continue to occur in the
city of Oaxaca. Beach resorts like Puerto Escondido and Huatulco have not been affected by these events.
Warnings on swimming conditions posted on beaches should be taken seriously. Many beaches are not supervised or do not offer warnings. When in doubt,
consult the hotel staff.
You should ensure the recreational activities you choose are covered by your travel insurance or by a local insurance. Ensure sporting and aquatic
equipment is safe and in good condition, especially for scuba diving. Many operators do not conduct regular safety checks. There have been cases of
Canadians who have been involved in accidents where operators demanded compensation in excess of the value of the damage caused to the vehicle or
Exercise caution when standing close to balcony railings, as deaths and injuries have resulted from falls. Height standards for balcony railings in
Mexico can be considerably lower than those in Canada.
Visitors should be aware of their surroundings at all times while travelling throughout the country, even in areas generally considered safe. Crimes,
including armed robbery, purse snatching, and pick-pocketing, occur frequently. The arrest and detention rate is low and contributes to high levels of
If you are the victim of a crime, report it immediately to the Agencia del Ministerio Público nearest to the crime scene. No criminal investigation
is possible without a formal complaint to Mexican authorities. You must present photo identification. It is especially important to report the loss or
theft of your identification documents (to Mexican authorities and to the Embassy or the nearest consulate of Canada in Mexico), in order to protect
yourself should the documents later be misused.
For emergency services, dial 060 or 066.
In northern Mexico and all cities bordering the United States, organized crime and urban violence affect security. Crimes, murders and firefights
linked to drug turf wars have risen substantially, mainly in the states of Baja California, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Durango, Guerrero, Michoacán, Nuevo
Leon and Sinaloa. Canadians travelling to the Ciudad Juárez region should be particularly aware of their surroundings and monitor local news.
In various parts of the country, military and federal police forces have been deployed in efforts to combat organized crime and improve security
conditions. They maintain a visible presence patrolling the streets, setting up roadblocks and conducting random vehicle checks. Amed clashes between
security forces and drug groups are commonplace in certain areas and can occur at any time without warning. Travellers could get caught in the
In the state of Chiapas, near the border with Guatemala, the use of firearms between criminal gangs has often been reported. While Canadians are not
specifically targeted, they risk being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Law enforcement and police protection are often lacking.
Thefts occur regularly. You should dress down, avoid wearing or carrying expensive jewellery, and carry only small amounts of cash. Keep your luggage
secure at all times. In resort areas, leave your passport and valuables in your hotel safe, not in your hotel room or on the beach while you are
There have been reports of foreigners being targeted for assault and robbery, which are sometimes violent. Victims are followed upon exchanging or
withdrawing money in the arrival areas of Benito Juarez International Airport in Mexico City. It is therefore recommended to avoid withdrawing or
exchanging money in the public areas of the airport. Should you absolutely need to do so, financial transactions should be done before exiting the
You should withdraw or exchange money at Automated Banking Machines (ABMs) or exchange bureaus (casas de cambio) during daylight hours only, and
inside shops and malls rather than on the street. Keep your credit card in sight when paying.
Incidents of assault and sexual aggression against foreigners have been reported. In some cases, hotel employees, taxi drivers and security personnel
have been implicated. Avoid walking after dark, especially alone, and avoid unpopulated areas. You should only frequent bars and night-clubs as part
of a group and avoid separating from the group. In cases of sexual assault, police authorities will require a medical examination.
Be careful accepting food, drinks, invitations or rides from strangers or recent acquaintances. Avoid leaving your food and drinks unattended in bars
and restaurants. There have been cases of travellers being robbed or assaulted after being drugged.
Kidnappings occur frequently in large urban areas. The most common practice involves thieves working in cooperation with, or posing as taxi drivers.
The thieves force victims to withdraw money from ABMs with their debit or credit cards in exchange for their release. Kidnappers target both the
wealthy and middle class. Foreigners are not specifically targeted.