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Border Safety for Visitors
With the 2016-2017 fall/winter visitor travel season approaching, more visitors are asking, "will it be safe to visit a Mexico border town/city this year?"
As just about everyone knows, travel to many parts of Mexico can be a little risky to say the best, with a few places downright dangerous. As previously reported, an outbreak of crime and violence in parts of northern Mexico in recent years, combined with travel warnings issued by the U.S. State Department, has been cause for concern, especially for mostly retired seniors crossing into Mexico at border land ports along the Texas-Mexico border to take in the sites, enjoy dinner or dancing, shop local stores and visit dentists or doctors and and the always popular pharmacy where legally-prescribed and over-the-counter drugs can usually be purchased for less.
In recent weeks a notable increase in inquiries about border crossing have crossed graced our email boxes and telephones, and our response always includes a word of caution. But we should note that incidents of border violence 'seems' to have declined, not only this year but including some improved noted last winter travel season.
That's not a guarantee that a U.S. traveler is crossing into a Mexican border town is safe and that nothing bad will happen to them. But in terms of personal safety issues, it seems less tense to visit some towns and some areas of border towns. It actually comes down to the question of where to go and where to avoid.
Even then, bad things happen to good people everyday, on both sides of the border, from fender benders traffic accidents on the road to fast tires on the highway (and by that we are not suggesting those things would happen to you either, at no more they do now wherever you live or travel.
Here are our recommendation for the upcoming season:
On the Texas-Mexico border, Reynosa (across from McAllen) and Juarez (across from El Paso) are two cities that still represent a greater threat to travelers than most other border cities. Matamoras (across from Brownsville) would be another area that could be a threat, though conditions have improved here compared to a couple of years ago. Possibly the same thing could be said about Nuevo Laredo.
Of the most heavily traveled land ports on the border, Progreso, near Weslaco, remains the safest place to visit if you are crossing over the a day trip for shopping, dining or doctoring. While it is true that many of the dentists in Progreso closed shop at the height of the violence several years back, it was mostly because Mexican dentists and their staff were at risk traveling from their homes to work and back inside of Mexico.