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Day trip to Mexico

Houston
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86 posts
2 reviews
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Day trip to Mexico

Hi,

We'll be vacationing on SPI next week. I was wondering about making a day trip into Mexico. Are the border towns safe & easy to visit or more trouble than they are worth?

We'll have our 2 kids, so just interested in browsing shops and maybe a good lunch spot. Then we'll head back to SPI.

thanks,

D.

San Antonio, Texas
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1,548 posts
9 reviews
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1. Re: Day trip to Mexico

You are joking right? Please tell me you're joking.

Have you not heard the warnings from the U.S. Govt. about travelling to Mexico? Regardless, I wouldn't suggest going to Matamoros or any border town ever! Especially with children! These towns are dirty, nasty and very dangerous! You and your family could easily get kidnapped or killed. Avoid these towns like the plague.

I went to Matamoros in 1994 and it was extremely scary, nasty, and dirty back then - full of beggars and no good deals on anything worth a darn. Last year I went to Nuevo Laredo for fifteen minutes - just enough time to see scary men approaching me and my wife when we accidentally walked down the wrong street. If that doesn't happen, I guarantee you that people will be in your face trying to sell you valium, pot, or whatever drug you want.

Need I say more? Mexican border towns are the worst and should be avoided forever.

San Antonio, Texas
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1,548 posts
9 reviews
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2. Re: Day trip to Mexico

Here's the link to the warning: …state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/pa/pa_2100.html

"....the worst violence has been centered in the city of Nuevo Laredo in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas, where more than 30 U.S. citizens have been kidnapped and/or murdered in the past eight months and public shootouts have occurred during daylight hours near frequented shopping areas and on streets leading to the international bridges...."

Believe me, I'm sure Matamoros is not much better. Just stay in South Padre and enjoy the "safe" USA!!!

Roswell, New Mexico
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718 posts
51 reviews
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3. Re: Day trip to Mexico

This is not a good idea, especially with kids. Some might say it's just freakin' foolish. See the posted State Dept. travel warnings. I just moved from the border, and I quit going across 2 years ago because of the violence and kidnappings. You'd probably be OK, but what if you weren't?

Most of the shops just sell tourist kitsch and useless crap like that nayway. If you want to see Mexico, the border is the last place to go. Fly to the interior.

Houston
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4. Re: Day trip to Mexico

Not to mention that Nuevo Laredo doesn't even have a chief of police because the drug gangs have vowed to kill anyone who takes the job. It's not an idle threat. Someone finally stepped up and took the job last month, was sworn in at noon, and was gunned down the same day.

Roswell, New Mexico
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718 posts
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5. Re: Day trip to Mexico

And let's not forget the 30 or so Americans missing in Nuevo Laredo. The Dallas paper recntly had stories about people kidnpped and ransomed in the lower Valley (either in Reynosa of Matamoros, I forget). Regardless, it's just not a good idea. Before I left Laredo, Nuevo Laredo had taken on the air of Baghdad. Now you have federales on the streets in armored cars.

Here's a quote from USA Today (McPaper!):

Americans traveling across the border might want to rethink that scene, the U.S. State Department says. On Jan. 21, the department cautioned Americans about the Matamoros area. Five days later, it broadened the announcement to cover the entire border with Mexico.

At least 27 U.S. citizens have been abducted or have vanished along Mexico's border with Texas over the past six months, caught in what U.S. officials have described as an escalating turf war between competing drug lords. Fourteen have been released; two have been found dead. The fate of the others is unknown. By contrast, three or four such abductions were reported each year since 2000.

Yvette Martinez, 27, and Brenda Cisneros, 23, friends from Laredo, Texas, went to hear Mexican singer Pepe Aguilar in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, in mid-September and have not been heard from since; Gerardo Contreras, 18, from San Antonio has been missing since May, when he went into the Mexican town of Piedras Negras to attend his sister's baby shower; and Charles Rogers, an oncologist from Brownsville, Texas, was abducted at his clinic here and released only after his wife paid a hefty ransom.

Almost all 27 abductions have taken place in Nuevo Laredo and towns east of it along the border to Matamoros.

In sum, there is no good reason to cross. S. Texas has plenty of the feel of Mexico, but is still in the civilized world. Remember that PJ O'Rourke referred to the border as 'the Tropic of Dirt". Now you have violence to go with the poverty.

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