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US Issues Another Mexico Travel Warning

The State Department has renewed its travel warning for Mexico, saying that drug violence there can be a danger to Americans.

These travel warnings for Mexico usually draw criticism from Mexican officials who say it hurts tourism. This one came just one week before incoming Mexico president Enrique Peña Nieto is set to meet Barack Obama in Washington D.C. for the first presidential visit.

The two presidents are expected to discuss trade agreements like the brewing tomato controversy and anti-drug policies.

Travel warnings for Mexico have been sent out for about seven years now. This travel warning outlines specific Mexican states that Americans shouldn’t visit unless they absolutely need to. Those include most of the border states.

This warning, for example, suggests visitors should not visit the entire state of Chihuahua unless needed. But it only suggests to be cautious when visiting Baja California Norte. And it only warns against some areas of Sonora, not the state's biggest cities. This warning, like its predecessor, is vague in some of its information.

The warning notes that 113 Americans were killed in Mexico in 2011. And 32 in the first six months of 2012. But it doesn't elaborate on how the victims died.

Senior Field Correspondent Michel Marizco (Tucson) has reported along the Southwest border for the past decade, most of that in Arizona and Sonora. Before joining the Fronteras Desk, he produced stories in the field for CNN Madrid, the BBC, 60 Minutes Australia, and the CBC. His work now focuses on transnational trafficking syndicates, immigration, federal law enforcement and those weird, wild stories that make the U.S.-Mexico border such an inherently fascinating region. He is a contributing author on Shared Responsibility: U.S.-Mexico Policy Options for Confronting Organized Crime and an occasional writer at High Country News. In his spare time, he works with Investigative Reporters and Editors and the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma, assisting in the ongoing investigations of journalist killings in Mexico.
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