With the approaching Semana Santa holiday season, the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Mexico want to alert U.S citizens of the possibility of highway robberies and carjackings on popular transit routes into the interior of Mexico, including on toll roads (“cuotas”). Criminals are aware of increased travel in Mexico around the holidays and monitor highways to identify potential targets. Both private vehicles and commercial bus lines have been targets of highway robbery. Most criminal activity occurs after dark.
While U.S. citizens have, in the past, been murdered in highway robbery and carjacking incidents, in recent reports most victims who complied with robbers’ demands have reported that they were not physically harmed. In some cases, robbers have shot at vehicles that have attempted to flee. Robbers have used a variety of techniques, including roadblocks, bumping/moving vehicles to force them to stop, and running vehicles off the road at high speeds. While violent incidents can occur anywhere and at any time, they most frequently occur after dark and on isolated stretches of roads. To reduce risk when traveling by road, we strongly urge you to travel between cities throughout Mexico only during daylight hours, to avoid isolated roads, and to continue to use toll roads (“cuotas”), which are generally safer, whenever possible.
The Government of Mexico’s Programa Paisano provides support to U.S. residents returning to Mexico for the holiday season, including providing security information. http://www.paisano.gob.mx/