PHOENIX (AP) — An unusually bloody weekend has led to renewed warnings against unnecessary travel to the Mexican city of Nogales along the Arizona border.
The U.S. Consulate General in Nogales, Mexico, on Tuesday reissued an emergency message cautioning Americans with travel plans to Nogales and surrounding areas.
Citing "multiple and ongoing credible threats," the consulate asked citizens to put off any unnecessary travel.
The first warnings came on May 25, a day before an American citizen from Tucson was found murdered in his car.
Spokeswoman Pooja Jhunjhunwala said the U.S. State Department was aware of the death of an American citizen in Mexico over the weekend and said officials are working with Mexican authorities on the case. Mexican media have identified the man as Jorge Luis Soto, 25, of Tucson.
But Jhunjhunwala said the department does not release specific information regarding warnings of credible threats such as who the threats were made against. Calls made to the U.S. Consulate General in Nogales, Mexico, were not returned Wednesday.
Santa Cruz County Sheriff Tony Estrada, whose county in Arizona borders with Mexico, said violence has escalated in the Mexican Nogales since last week.
"What has been happening is there is there's been a series of homicides that have occurred, but these are people that are obviously involved in the drug trade one way or another," Estrada said. "It has had no direct impact on our visitors and our residents. The visitors and residents and tourists are not targets."
Mexican media reported a total five homicides in Nogales, Mexico, during the Memorial Day Weekend. Four of the five victims were found dead in their car.
Police found Soto around 2:30 a.m. Monday at the wheel of a 1997 Chevrolet Tahoe with Arizona license plates, according to the Arizona Republic. Soto had been shot twice.