The town of Nuevo Progreso, Tamaulipas, survives economically off of tourists, specifically Winter Texans.
“We love to come over and eat and we come over and get our prescriptions because they’re much better prices,” said Pam Cable, who was visiting from Oklahoma.
On Wednesday, the U.S. State Department issued the highest travel advisory level to five Mexican states, including Tamaulipas. On a scale of 1 to 4, the states received a 4, or a ‘do not travel’ advisory.
Despite this, visitors say they feel safe in Nuevo Progreso.
“I attribute safety here in Nuevo Progreso to how the town takes care of its visitors,” said Víctor Rivera, manager at Farmacia Susy.
The U.S. State Department says violence crimes such as murder, armed robbery, carjacking, kidnapping, extortion and sexual assault is common in Tamaulipas.
International experts, like Guadalupe Correa from George Mason University, believe that local and state forces aren’t working independently.
“First of all, there’s a lack of coordination between the federal authorities and the state authorities,” Correa said. “And there are allegations of connections between the state forces with certain cells of certain criminal groups.”
Correa says that because local news coverage is limited due to organized crime, social media tells stories of internal fighting in criminal organizations. Correa added that civil society knows about the connection between authorities at all levels with organized crime.