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Security Message for U.S. Citizens: Kidnapping Threat in Tamaulipas - February 21, 2013

As a result of recent kidnappings and kidnapping attempts, the U.S. Consulate General wishes to remind U.S. citizens of the threat of kidnapping and other criminal activity, particularly in the northern areas of the state of Tamaulipas along the US-Mexico border.  We remind U.S. citizens of the advice contained in the U.S. Department of State’s Travel Warning for Mexico to defer non-essential travel to the state of Tamaulipas.   All U.S. government employees are prohibited from personal travel on Tamaulipas highways outside of Matamoros and Reynosa due to the threat of carjacking and kidnapping.  Foreign tourists and residents, like local citizens, have been victimized. 

If you must travel within the state of Tamaulipas, we strongly advise you to travel during daylight hours and avoid displaying any evidence of wealth that might draw attention.  If you fear that a U.S. citizen family member has been kidnapped in Mexico you should immediately contact Mexican law enforcement authorities.  The U.S. Consulate General can assist and advise you in the reporting of kidnappings to Mexican and U.S. authorities.

We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in Mexico enroll in the Department of State's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) at  STEP enrollment gives you the latest security updates, and makes it easier for the U.S. embassy or nearest U.S. consulate to contact you in an emergency.  If you don't have Internet access, enroll directly with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.

Regularly monitor the State Department's website at, where you can find current Travel Warnings, (including the Travel Warning for Mexico), Travel Alerts, and the Worldwide Caution.  Read the Country Specific Information for Mexico at  For additional information, refer to "A Safe Trip Abroad" on the State Department's website.

Contact the U.S. embassy or consulate for up-to-date information on travel restrictions. You can also call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free from within the United States and Canada, or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries.  These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).  Follow us on Twitter at and Facebook at, and download our free Smart Traveler iPhone App at to have travel information at your fingertips.

The U.S. Consulate General in Matamoros is located at Avenida Primera #2002, Col. Jardín, Matamoros, Tamaulipas and is open 8:00 am – 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday, telephone (011)(52)(868) 812-4402.  If you are a U.S. citizen in need of urgent assistance, the after-hours emergency number for the U.S. Consulate General is (011)(52)(868) 812-1507.

American Citizen Services

U.S. Consulate General

Matamoros, México