Safety Precautions Travelers take Avoiding Violence in Mexico
WESLACO – This year is on track to be deadlier than last year in Mexico. A travel advisory for Tamaulipas is still in effect as thousands head south for the holidays.
There were more people killed in October this year than October of 2016. That's according to the homicide rates reported by the Mexican government. That's only what's on the record.
Families on the border will often gather to celebrate U.S. and Mexican holidays. Thanksgiving is no different.
Petra Lucio Salazar, a Mexican national, said she's going to have a gathering with the family.
After some shopping in Hidalgo, Salazar is about to go back to Mexico.
Coming back is Aide, a U.S. citizen. She's returning after going to a medical appointment.
Both perceive what's happening in Mexico differently.
Salazar says, "That's already over. There's not much violence there. That's done. There's not that much violence over there. There's more people going now."
She said her small town close to Reynosa hasn't seen much violence lately.
On the other hand, Aide goes to Mexico rarely. When she does, she takes precautions.
"Not too late and not too early. We have to come back early, because, you know, it's ugly," she says.
Mexico reports that last year, 29,426 people were murdered. From January to October 2017, homicides have already surpassed last year's total – 33,979 have been killed so far.
Even those in neighboring Tamaulipas are higher in October than last year at the same time.
CHANNEL 5 NEWS spoke with the state agency in charge of security in Tamaulipas. They have a strategy ready to go this week.
There's a police escort for a caravan of travelers starting from Reynosa and Nuevo Laredo going deeper into Mexico.
This includes ground and aerial support between state and federal law enforcement. They also have lines to report crimes or for roadside assistance.
Those who travel normally have other ways they avoid trouble like adhering to a curfew.
Salazar said, "By 6:30 p.m., now that it's getting darker faster, everyone is already back home unless they visit restaurants."
Keeping a low profile is another strategy to stay safe.
Aide recommends, "Don't take anything showy. Keep your money hidden, and don't take too much with you."
She said she's not going to Mexico for the holidays. Her family is coming over instead. A family gathering for the holidays, despite it all.
The number to dial in Mexico to report a crime or request roadside assistance is 089, 911 or 088.
The caravan will go from Reynosa and Nuevo Laredo all the way to the state of Nuevo Leon.
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