The travel warning which was to expire 7-29-05 has been renewed
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U.S. Renews Mexico Travel Warning
MEXICO CITY, July 27, 2005
The State Department is renewing a travel advisory warning Americans about violence in Mexico, especially along the U.S. border, the U.S. ambassador said Tuesday.
The advisory is the third this year requested by U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Tony Garza. In a statement, Garza said more than 100 violent deaths along the border since June and the killings of 18 Nuevo Laredo policemen convinced him the warning was still necessary.
"These disturbing reports make clear that Mexico needs to do much more to bring safety and security to our common border," he said.
The last advisory was issued in April and expires Friday.
Mexico's government responded that it "maintains a constant fight against organized crime and has made a series of efforts to abate violence on the border."
The past two advisories have angered Mexico, which relies heavily on U.S. tourism and bridles at criticism from its powerful northern neighbor.
Growing violence and a battle between Mexico's two main drug gangs have caused a spike in violence along the border, especially in Nuevo Laredo, across from Laredo, Texas.
Mexican officials, including President Vicente Fox, have acknowledged the problem and pledged to work with their U.S. counterparts to combat growing violence.
In Nuevo Laredo, where the police chief was gunned down in June only hours after taking office, Fox sent in additional federal agents and soldiers to restore law and order.
Garza acknowledged Fox's efforts, saying: "The Mexican government is beginning to address concerns about the unacceptable level of violence along our border."
The ambassador also promised the United States would help Mexican law enforcement agencies combat crime.
"I have held talks with officials at the highest levels of the Mexican government to underscore my belief that the prosperity of our two countries depends in no small part on stability and a firm commitment to stop the violence," he said.
The Mexican government said Tuesday night noted the importance of bi-national cooperation in border security "which falls under the category of shared responsibility."