International Security Expert Addresses Mexico Travel Safety Concerns

Last week, a Mormon mother of seven from Arizona was released from Mexican jail after being accused of trying to smuggle several pounds of marijuana on a bus. The drugs were taped beneath her seat, Mexican authorities said.

The episode raised the question of whether it's safe for Americans to travel in Mexico.

Could this happen to anyone visiting the drug war-ravaged nation?

Sergio Robleto, the founder of international security research firm Applied Facts, said Mexico is a hot spot and problems like this can be a real possibility.

Between possible legal problems and the threats of kidnapping and other crimes, Americans should research before they travel, Robleto said.

"Find out if in the city they're going to visit if there's been problems, you might want to switch to another part of the country," he said. "How are you dressed? Are you dressed like an American businessman? You've got money, you're a target, that's the way it goes."

He recommended against using public transportation. Americans, even ones who try to blend in, stick out, he said.

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Travel experts recommend keeping careful track of your cash and knowing at all times how to reach the nearest U.S. Embassy.

"If we've got bad guys in the United States," Robleto said, "I can assure you there are bad guys in other countries."

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