The current U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory at the date of this report's publication assesses Mexico at Level 2, indicating travelers should exercise increased caution due to crime. Reconsider travel to the State of Chihuahua due to crime.
Overall Crime and Safety Situation
The U.S. Consulate General in Ciudad Juarez does not assume responsibility for the professional ability or integrity of the persons or firms appearing in this report. The Consulate General cannot recommend a particular individual or location and assumes no responsibility for the quality of service provided.
Review OSAC's Mexico-specific page for original OSAC reporting, consular messages, and contact information, some of which may be available only to private-sector representatives with an OSAC password.
The Department of State divides its roles and responsibilities in Mexico among 10 Consular Districts. The U.S. Consulate General in Ciudad Juarez covers the entire state of Chihuahua.
There is serious risk from crime in Ciudad Juarez. While there is no indication criminals specifically target U.S. citizens, violence and crime rates remain at critical levels in this area of Mexico. U.S. citizens traveling to Ciudad Juarez and the city of Chihuahua must guard against robbery, carjacking, theft, and burglary. A significant number of homicides in both cities are targeted cartel/gang-related actions where the perpetrators generally avoid injuring innocent bystanders.
Carjacking remains a problem in both cities. Most carjackings occur in traffic, but they can occur during the day and at night in all areas of town. Living or working in a location with access-control measures decreases the chances of being carjacked.
Reports of extortion remained low in 2018. The Chihuahua state government and Ciudad Juarez city government have taken steps to reduce extortion with mixed results. Large businesses (including manufacturing plants) are not immune to extortion, although it is less common. A frequent method of extortion involves a telephone call in which the perpetrators threaten harm to the person/business if they do not pay for protection. These phone calls are often random and can originate from outside of the state, sometimes from inside Mexican prisons.
If you must use an ATM, do so only during the business day and only at large, protected facilities (preferably inside commercial establishments, rather than at glass-enclosed, highly visible ATMs on streets). Criminals can accost pedestrians and force them to withdraw money from their accounts using their ATM cards. For more information, review OSAC's Report, The Overseas Traveler's Guide to ATM Skimmers & Fraud.
Other Areas of Concern
Follow the guidance in the Mexico Travel Advisory, which provides specific information regarding travel restrictions for U.S. government employees in certain cities, neighborhoods, and routes. Recent changes to the Embassy's Mexico Travel Policy now permit U.S. government personnel and their family members to travel to the city of Chihuahua, Ojinaga, Nuevo Casas Grandes, and its surrounding areas, via specific routes.
Crime and violence remain serious problems throughout the state of Chihuahua, particularly in the south and in the Sierra Mountains, including Copper Canyon.
Source: Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC)