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Warden Message January 7, 2011

The United States Consulate General in Matamoros continues to advise U.S. citizens who are traveling in Tamaulipas of the potential for armed robbery and carjackings on state highways.  Multiple American citizens have reported the loss of their vehicles and their possessions under threat from armed men.  While most victims have reported that they were not physically harmed, the vehicles were taken under the threat of violence and it is important to keep these potential risks in mind before considering highway travel in Tamaulipas.

The majority of the reported crimes took place along Carretera Federal 101, which links Cd. Victoria to San Fernando.  Along this route, multiple carjackings have been reported north of San Fernando where the road forks northeast to Matamoros (Carretera Federal 101) and northwest to Reynosa (Mexico 97).  Vehicles have been reported stolen in the areas of San German, La Loma and Santa Teresa as well as the town of Jimenez.  Additionally, several American citizens have notified the Consulate General about carjackings in the area around Padilla, also on Carretera Federal 101.

The armed robberies have happened during the day and at night, and while there are some indications that newer vehicles with U.S. license plates have been particularly targeted, victims' vehicles include those with both Mexican and American registration and vary in type from new SUVs to old sedans.  The assailants are generally described as armed groups of young men or teenagers whose clothes may be civilian, camouflage or all-black.

U.S. citizens living or traveling abroad are encouraged to register with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate through the State Department's travel registration web site at https://travelregistration.state.gov/ibrs/ui/ so that they can obtain updated information on travel and security.  Americans without Internet access may register in person or by phone with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.  By registering, American citizens make it easier for the Embassy or Consulate to contact them in case of emergency.

U.S. citizens are strongly encouraged to maintain a high level of vigilance, be aware of local events, and take the appropriate steps to bolster their personal security.  For additional information, please refer to "A Safe Trip Abroad" found at http://travel.state.gov.

For any emergencies involving American citizens in the Matamoros consular district, please call or visit the American Citizens Services (ACS) Unit at the U.S. Consulate General on Avenida Primera 2002, Col. Jardin, Matamoros, Tamaulipas; telephone (011)(52)(868) 812-4402.  http://matamoros.usconsulate.gov/.