Belize Issues Informal Travel Advisory Amidst Rising Crime in Chetumal, Mexico

Belize Issues Informal Travel Advisory Amidst Rising Crime in Chetumal, Mexico

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has issued a travel advisory, of sorts, to the Belizean public.  It was not a formally issued document, but a notice was posted yesterday evening on the ministry’s social media page.  According to the statement, local officials are keeping a close watch on the happenings in Mexico, particularly the increase in violent crimes in Chetumal.  The advisory cautions all Belizeans to exercise caution when traveling across the northern border and visiting Chetumal.  It goes on to read, quote, “we recognize and acknowledge that the Mexican authorities have already taken specific steps to address this issue and our authorities will continue to engage with our Mexican counterparts on this matter.” End of quote.  Meanwhile, Belize’s Ambassador to Mexico, Oscar Arnold has issued a caution to car dealers, specifically, to be more alert when driving through Mexico.

Oscar Arnold, Belize’s Ambassador to Mexico:“The most trafficked border crossing for individuals who are involved in this type of activity seems to be McAllen. That’s the southernmost US city to the Mexico border and I guess for travel and transit purposes it’s about three to four thousand kilometers from that border to the Chetumal border. And so it’s a vast area, but that border city of McAllen borders the state of Tamaulipas in Mexico. Tamaulipas is one of those states that we see quite a bit of robberies, violent crime, human trafficking, contraband, smuggling, all that sorts of stuff taking place there. So it’s a very dangerous state but this is the state after you cross McAllen that you must traffic through, I guess, for the first day and a half of your journey. And that is why I believe that we’ve seen some robberies taking place there. Some have happened through the state of Veracruz. Veracruz is a very long state within the country of Mexico and in the Northern part with the border in Tamaulipas is where that activity has been taking place. So I want to warn and issue a warning to our car dealers again, I know this is how some people make their livelihood, travel daylight hours, stick to toll roads. Some individuals have run into issues when they’ve deviated to try to save some money on tolls. But what you save on tolls and what you put at risk, far out, in my eyes, far out weighs it.”

As recent as last night, a tour guide and his passengers were robbed of their belongings and vehicle over in Mexico.  Majority of the robberies and hijacking are said to be done by members of the cartel.  Love News understands that this sort of crime is separate from the surge in violence in Chetumal that surrounds gang territory and politics.

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