Jan 21, 2014 1:23 PM

State Dept. issued travel warning to Agua Prieta before shootout

Just one week before the shooting that killed at least 8 in Agua Prieta, the State Department issued a travel warning specifically naming the area and the eastern border of Sonora.

Many travelers say they weren't aware of the warning. Some believe it isn't a big issue, saying there are problems everywhere.

Here's a look at the alert posted to the State Department website Jan. 9:

Sonora: Nogales, Puerto Peñasco, Hermosillo, and San Carlos are major cities/travel destinations in Sonora - Sonora is a key region in the international drug and human trafficking trades, and can be extremely dangerous for travelers. Travelers throughout Sonora are encouraged to limit travel to main roads during daylight hours. The region west of Nogales, east of Sonoyta, and from Caborca north, including the towns of Saric, Tubutama and Altar, and the eastern edge of Sonora bordering Chihuahua, are known centers of illegal activity and non-essential travel between these cities should be avoided. Travelers should also defer non-essential travel to the eastern edge of the State of Sonora which borders the State of Chihuahua (all points along that border east of the northern city of Agua Prieta and the southern town of Alamos), and defer non-essential travel within the city of Ciudad Obregon and south of the city of Navojoa. You should exercise caution while transiting Vicam in southern Sonora due to a roadblock instituted by local indigenous and environmental groups. In December 2013, a gun battle involving Mexican authorities and TCOs occurred in Puerto Penasco. U.S. citizens visiting Puerto Peñasco should remain vigilant, exercise caution and use the Lukeville, Arizona/Sonoyta, Sonora border crossing, in order to limit driving through Mexico.

Others say more needs to be done to alert travelers of what's going on.

"I'll definitely keep my eyes out. How about you? They're definitely needs to be a better job of getting the word out about that. We're going to have to figure out how safe it is," traveler Jack Rhodes said.

"I appreciate having the information but it would not keep me from going into Mexico. I think when you are traveling anywhere just want to be aware of your surroundings and be smart," he said.

» There are multiple updates to this story. Please click here to get the latest information.


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