Guanajuato, A State Without Travel Restrictions
By Antonio De Jesús Aguado
The US Department of State has updated the January 9, 2014, travel warning of the US Bureau of International Affairs. Guanajuato is one of the 13 Mexican states without special advisories or restrictions against travel.
The Guanajuato Security Department (SSP) issues the warnings about security matters related to intentional homicides, kidnappings, muggings, and car robberies, as well as theft of vehicles from drivers on the road; that the US Department of State uses as a reference for advisories. Since Guanajuato is below the national average, it does not currently appear on the travel warning.
In a press release, the Secretariat of Public Security said that the indexes are calculated for every 100,000 inhabitants, and the Bureau of International Affairs gets the information from the Mexican System of Public Security. This information is based on indexes from January-July 2014.
The US document published on www.travel.state.gov states three kind of recommendations: “No advisory is in effect”—which includes Guanajuato; “Exercise caution,” and “Defer non-essential travel.” It states: “Guanajuato, San Miguel de Allende, and Leon are major cities/travel destinations in Guanajuato—no advisory is in effect.”
Guanajuato shares borders with five states, including Querétaro, where there are also no advisories against visiting.
Regarding the state of San Luis Potosí, the warning advises to “defer non-essential travel,” except to the city of San Luis Potosí, where US citizens should exercise caution because violence and criminal activity along highways are continuing security concerns; US government personnel may not travel outside the city of San Luis Potosi and must abide by a curfew from 1 to 6am. within a secured venue.
Jalisco is also a neighboring state for which the warning states that Puerto Vallarta and Guadalajara are safe cities. Nevertheless, it recommends avoiding visits to cities near state borders with Zacatecas and Michoacán, where security continues to be unstable and gun battles between criminal groups and authorities occur. According to the document, it is recommended to “defer non-essential travel to areas of Zacatecas” and to exercise caution in the interior of the state, including the city of Zacatecas..
The US Department of State also encourages its citizens to maintain a lower personal profile and to avoid displaying indicators of wealth, such as expensive or expensive-looking jewelry, watches, or cameras. In addition, the warning encourages American visitors to maintain awareness of their surroundings to avoid situations in which they may be isolated or stand out as potential victims.