US includes Mexico in countries with a risk of kidnapping

The US Department of State added a new label on its travel advisory website that includes "kidnapping and hostage-taking" as a potential danger in several countries, including Mexico.

The US State Department urges Americans not to travel in Mexico to the states of Colima, Guerrero, Michoacán, Sinaloa, and Tamaulipas under any circumstances. Photo: Flickr
The US State Department urges Americans not to travel in Mexico to the states of Colima, Guerrero, Michoacán, Sinaloa, and Tamaulipas under any circumstances. Photo: Flickr

The label, added on Tuesday to 35 countries, joins the existing ones that contemplate crime, terrorism, civil unrest, natural disasters, health hazards, among others.

The State Department urges Americans not to travel in Mexico to the states of Colima, Guerrero, Michoacán, Sinaloa, and Tamaulipas under any circumstances. It warns that some areas are at greater risk and that violent crimes, such as homicide, kidnapping, car theft, and theft, are widespread.

The United States government has a limited capacity to provide emergency services to US citizens in many areas of Mexico since travel by US government employees to these areas is prohibited or significantly restricted. In case of traveling to Mexico, you should use the toll roads as much as possible and avoid driving alone or at night.

According to the official statement, in many states, police presence and emergency services are extremely limited outside the state capital or major cities. It suggested taking care when visiting bars, nightclubs, and local casinos and asked for jewelry or expensive watches. Be very attentive when going to banks or ATMs.

It also suggests that US citizens sign up for the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive alerts and facilitate location in an emergency. US citizens who travel abroad must always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Check the traveler's checklist.

"Be very careful when visiting bars, nightclubs and local casinos; Do not show signs of wealth, such as wearing expensive watches or jewelry. Be very attentive when visiting banks or ATMs, and enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive alerts and facilitate location in an emergency. Follow the State Department on Facebook and Twitter. Review the Crime and Security reports for Mexico."

In addition to Mexico, Uganda is included, a country in which the American citizen Kimberly Sue Endicott was recently kidnapped, for which a reward of 500 thousand dollars was demanded.

The woman has already been released, but President Donald Trump demanded that those responsible be prosecuted.

Venezuela was also described as a nation at risk of kidnapping. The South American country has a tense relationship with the United States, which recognizes Juan Guaidó as interim president and seeks the dismissal of Nicolás Maduro.

Here is the list of countries at risk of "kidnapping and taking hostages":




South Sudan





I ran


Central African Republic








Democratic Republic of Congo

Burkina Faso



Trinidad and Tobago



Papua New Guinea










Recommended stories

What is an express kidnapping and how to act if you suffer one

During the last years the 'express kidnappings' have increased in Mexico, however, not everyone knows what this term refers to and how to act if you are the victim of one.

Express kidnapping is the retention of a person against their will for the shortest possible time to obtain the gain in exchange for their freedom, either by withdrawing their accounts from ATMs or by asking their family members for a ransom.

In this type of crime there is no strategy to keep the victim captive for more than 48 hours because the captors do not plan the crime in advance and only go out in search of a victim.

According to figures from the Autonomous University of Mexico, 5 people are abducted per day.

How to act in the face of an express kidnapping?

Be calm. The first thing you should do is stay calm. These criminals seek to get money without complications in the shortest possible time.

Negotiation. Seek to negotiate with the captors in a calm way to seek an agreement, although not being too accessible to their requests.

Take care of the data. We must take care of the information that is given to the captors, avoiding talking about goods and properties. Not being a planned kidnapping they do not know much about the economic situation of the people they kidnap.

Avoid looking the captors in the eyes. This could put your life at risk. Better choose to keep your eyes down during a conversation.

The contact telephone. If you are asked for a family member's contact number, it is better to give a local number. This way the communication will be easier and you do not risk the privacy of someone else.

Remember details. During your conversations with the kidnappers pay attention to details and information about them. This will facilitate their subsequent capture.

Speed. Look for the negotiation to end as soon as possible.

How to act when obtaining freedom. When the victim is released, he/she should denounce what happened by telephone or go to the nearest public security institution. Seek professional help to overcome the emotional trauma you experienced.

How you can avoid an express kidnapping:

Be alert when you walk down the street and take care of who goes around you. Most of these kidnappings occur on the routes you frequent near work and home.

Try to give neighbours and friends the least information about your assets and economic capacity. Many kidnappings are perpetrated by people close to the victim.

Always visualize escape routes when you go to a place in case you find yourself in danger. If you are at risk you can shout "fire" or "earthquake" to get the attention of others around you.

VIDEO: Woman escapes kidnapping in Coyoacán

VIDEO: Woman escapes being kidnapped with the help of neighbors in the city hall of Coyoacán, Mexico City.

Recently on social networks, a Twitter a user through his account shared a video of the exact moment when a woman managed to escape from some subjects who were trying to kidnap her.

The events occurred in the Pedregal neighborhood of Santo Domingo, Coyoacán City Hall, in the vicinity of the Metro University of Mexico City.

The video clearly shows how a woman was walking on the sidewalk, suddenly a car that was turning street addresses her.

Shortly after, an individual wearing a hoodie obstructs her step and takes it with the intention of introducing it to the car.

However, the young woman resists struggling with her aggressor, because of the inertia she falls to the ground but she continues to fight not to be kidnapped.

Minutes later, a group of neighbors arrive at the scene to help the victim, at that moment the kidnapper runs away and runs to the car where his accomplice awaits him to escape.

So far the alleged perpetrators have not been arrested, meanwhile the Attorney General of Justice (PGJ) capital reported that the investigation folder of the case was opened and the corresponding proceedings are in process.