Once again, the U.S. State Department’s travel warning to visitors interested in taking in the sights and sounds of Mexico has Presidio and Ojinaga residents seeing red, including Presidio Mayor John Ferguson and economic development Director Brad Newton.
The report states that travelers should “…exercise caution in traveling to […] the urban area of the city of Ojinaga,” adding that visitors should only travel along main highways during daylight hours as, “…crime and violence remain a serious problem in the state of Chihuahua…”
“This is the exact travel advisory that was issued in May of 2015,” wrote Mayor Ferguson in a press release. “And, in my opinion, it seems to reflect little, if any, actual observation of Ojinaga we locals know.”
“Millions of U.S. citizens safely visit Mexico each year for study, tourism, and business, including more than 150,000 who cross the border every day,” said Newton. “The Mexican government dedicates substantial resources to protect visitors to major tourist destinations, and there is no evidence that organized criminal groups have targeted U.S. visitors or residents based on their nationality.”
The amount of drug-related violence and crime reported along the border, Newton also claimed, is centered around major drug trafficking routs, not resort and tourist regions of the country, such as the Ojinaga area, which is a adjacent to the Big Bend Ranch State Park.
Both city officials also point to crime statistics regarding the safety of Ojinaga.