International Parental Child Abduction

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Country Information

Mexico

Mexico
United Mexican States
Exercise increased caution in Mexico due to crime. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.

Exercise increased caution in Mexico due to crime. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.

Violent crime, such as homicide, kidnapping, carjacking, and robbery, is widespread.

The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in many areas of Mexico as travel by U.S. government employees to these areas is prohibited or significantly restricted.

U.S. government employees may not travel between cities after dark, may not hail taxis on the street, and must rely on dispatched vehicles, including from app-based services like Uber, or those from regulated taxi stands. U.S. government employees may not drive from the U.S.-Mexico border to or from the interior parts of Mexico with the exception of daytime travel within Baja California, and between Nogales and Hermosillo on Mexican Federal Highway 15D.

Read the Safety and Security section on the country information page.

Do not travel to:

  • Colima state due to crime.
  • Guerrero state due to crime.
  • Michoacán state due to crime.
  • Sinaloa state due to crime.
  • Tamaulipas state due to crime.

For detailed information on all states in Mexico, please see below.

If you decide to travel to Mexico:

  • Use toll roads when possible and avoid driving alone or at night. In many states, police presence and emergency services are extremely limited outside the state capital or major cities.
  • Exercise increased caution when visiting local bars, nightclubs, and casinos.
  • Do not display signs of wealth, such as wearing expensive watches or jewelry.
  • Be extra vigilant when visiting banks or ATMs.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Review the Crime and Safety Reports for Mexico.
  • U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.

Aguascalientes state – Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution

Exercise increased caution due to crime.

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees.

Baja California state – Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution

Exercise increased caution due to crime.

Criminal activity and violence, including homicide, remain a primary concern throughout the state. While most of these homicides appeared to be targeted, criminal organization assassinations and turf battles between criminal groups have resulted in violent crime in areas frequented by U.S. citizens. Bystanders have been injured or killed in shooting incidents.

Due to poor cellular service and hazardous road conditions, U.S. government employees may only travel on Highway 2D between Mexicali and Tijuana via “La Rumorosa” during daylight hours.

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees in Baja California, which includes tourist areas in: Ensenada, Rosarito, and Tijuana.

Baja California Sur state – Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution

Exercise increased caution due to crime.

Criminal activity and violence, including homicide, remain a primary concern throughout the state. While most homicides appeared to be targeted, criminal organization assassinations and turf battles between criminal groups have resulted in violent crime in areas frequented by U.S. citizens. Bystanders have been injured or killed in shooting incidents. 

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees in Baja California Sur, which includes tourist areas in: Cabo San Lucas, San Jose del Cabo, and La Paz.

Campeche state – Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution

Exercise increased caution due to crime.

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees.

Chiapas state – Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution

Exercise increased caution due to crime.

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees in Chiapas state, which includes tourist areas in: Palenque, San Cristobal de las Casas, and Tuxtla Gutierrez.

Chihuahua state – Level 3: Reconsider Travel

Reconsider travel due to crime.

Violent crime and gang activity are widespread. While most homicides appeared to be targeted, criminal organization assassinations and turf battles between criminal groups have resulted in violent crime in areas frequented by U.S. citizens. Bystanders have been injured or killed in shooting incidents. 

Travel for U.S. government employees is limited to the following areas with the noted restrictions:

  • Ciudad Juarez: U.S. government employees require prior approval to travel to the downtown area (i.e., the area south of Calle Malecon, west of Calle 5 de Mayo, north of Calle 18 de Marzo, and east of Avenida Francisco Villa). They may access the Paso del Norte (Santa Fe) Bridge, the Bridge of the Americas, and the Stanton Street Bridge via the border highways only. They must access the San Geronimo Port of Entry through the United States or the Anapra-San Geronimo Highway in Mexico. U.S. government employees require prior approval to travel after dark to areas east of Bulevar Independencia. They must travel to and from the airport after dark via Mexico Highway 45, using the most direct route north of Bulevar Zaragoza to access the highway.
  • Chihuahua City: U.S. government employees must travel from Ciudad Juarez to Chihuahua City during daylight hours via Highway 45, stopping only at the shops at Highway 45/Miguel Ahumada in the town of Villa Ahumada. They may not travel to the Morelos, Villa, and Zapata districts of Chihuahua.
  • Nuevo Casas Grandes Area (including Nuevo Casas Grandes, Casas Grades, Mata Ortiz, Colonia Juarez, Colonia LeBaron, and Paquime): U.S. government employees must travel to the Nuevo Casas Grandes area during daylight hours through the United States. U.S. government employees should enter Mexico at the Palomas Port of Entry on New Mexico Route 11 before connecting to Mexico Highway 2 to Nuevo Casas Grandes.
  • Ojinaga: U.S. government employees must travel to Ojinaga via U.S. Highway 67 through the Presidio, Texas Port of Entry. U.S. government employees may visit the city during daylight hours only.
  • Palomas: U.S. government employees must travel to Palomas via U.S. highways through the Palomas Port of Entry in Columbus, New Mexico.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Coahuila state – Level 3: Reconsider Travel

Reconsider travel due to crime.

Violent crime and gang activity are common in parts of Coahuila state.

Travel for U.S. government employees is limited to the following areas with the noted restrictions:

  • Piedras Negras and Ciudad Acuña: U.S. government employees must travel directly from the United States and observe a midnight to 6:00 a.m. curfew in both cities.
  • Highway 40 and areas south

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Colima state – Level 4: Do Not Travel

Do not travel due to crime.

Violent crime and gang activity are widespread.

Travel for U.S. government employees is limited to the following areas with the noted restrictions:

  • Colima City: U.S. government employees must travel on toll road 54D to reach Colima City from Guadalajara.
  • Manzanillo: U.S. government employees may travel by air or on route 200 from the Jalisco border. U.S. government employees are limited to the tourist and port areas between Marina Puerto Santiago and Playa las Brisas.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Durango state – Level 3: Reconsider Travel

Reconsider travel due to crime.

Violent crime and gang activity are common in parts of Durango state.

U.S. government employees may not travel to the area west and south of Highway 45 and the city of Gomez Palacio.

There are no additional restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Estado de Mexico state – Level 3: Reconsider Travel

Reconsider travel due to crime.

Both violent and non-violent crime is prevalent in the Estado de Mexico. Mexican government statistics indicate criminal incidents in the Estado de Mexico occur at a significantly higher rate than much of the rest of Mexico. Pay particular caution to areas outside of the frequented tourist areas, although petty crime occurs frequently in tourist areas as well.

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S government employees.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Guanajuato state – Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution

Exercise increased caution due to crime.

The majority of gang-related violence occurs in the south of the state, near the border with Michoacán, and is often linked to the widespread theft of petroleum and natural gas from the state oil company and other suppliers.

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees.

Guerrero state – Level 4: Do Not Travel

Do not travel due to crime.

Armed groups operate independently of the government in many areas of Guerrero. Members of these groups frequently maintain roadblocks and may use violence towards travelers. U.S. government employees may not travel to the entire state of Guerrero, including Acapulco, Zihuatanejo, Ixtapa, and Taxco.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Hidalgo state – Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution

Exercise increased caution due to crime.

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees.

Jalisco state – Level 3: Reconsider Travel

Reconsider travel due to crime.

Violent crime and gang activity are common in parts of Jalisco state. In metropolitan Guadalajara, turf battles between criminal groups are taking place in areas frequented by U.S. citizens. Shooting incidents between criminal groups have injured or killed innocent bystanders.

U.S. government employees may not travel to:

  • Within 20 km (12 miles) of the Jalisco/Michoacán border, south of Route 120
  • Highway 80 south of Cocula
  • Highway 544 from Mascota to San Sebastian del Oeste

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S government employees to: Guadalajara Metropolitan Area, Riviera Nayarit (including Puerto Vallarta), Chapala, and Ajijic.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Mexico City – Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution

Exercise increased caution due to crime.

Both violent and non-violent crime is prevalent in Mexico City. Mexican government statistics indicate criminal incidents in the capital city occur at a significantly higher rate than much of the rest of Mexico. Pay particular caution to areas outside of the frequented tourist areas, although petty crime occurs frequently in tourist areas as well. Neighborhoods such as Tepito and Guerrero warrant additional vigilance, especially at night.

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees.

Michoacán state – Level 4: Do Not Travel

Do not travel due to crime.

Travel for U.S. government employees is limited to the following areas with the noted restrictions:

  • Highway 15D: U.S. government employees may travel on federal toll road (cuota) Highway 15D and to those parts of Michoacán north of Highway 15D and can utilize Highway 15D to transit between Mexico City and Guadalajara.
  • Lazaro Cardenas: U.S. government employees must travel by air only and limit activities to the city center or port areas.
  • Morelia: U.S. government employees may travel by air and by land using Highway 15D to Highway 45D that leads directly to Morelia.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Morelos state – Level 3: Reconsider Travel

Reconsider travel due to crime.

Violent crime and gang activity are common in parts of Morelos state.

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Nayarit state – Level 3: Reconsider Travel

Reconsider travel due to crime.

Violent crime and gang activity are common in parts of Nayarit state. U.S. government employees may not travel to:

  • Tepic
  • San Blas

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S government employees to: Riviera Nayarit (including Nuevo Vallarta and Bahia de Banderas) and Santa Maria del Oro.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Nuevo Leon state – Level 3: Reconsider Travel

Reconsider travel due to crime.

Violent crime and gang activity are common in parts of Nuevo Leon state.

U.S. government employees in Monterrey must stay within the San Pedro Garza Garcia municipality, south of the Santa Catarina River, between 1:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m., except for direct travel to and from the airport.

There are no additional restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Oaxaca state – Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution

Exercise increased caution due to crime.

U.S. government employees may not travel to:

  • Isthmus region of Oaxaca, defined by Highway 185D to the west, Highway 190 to the north, and the Oaxaca/ Chiapas border to the east. This includes the towns of Juchitan de Zaragoza, Salina Cruz, and San Blas Atempa.
  • Highway 200 northwest of Pinotepa.

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees to other parts of Oaxaca state, which include tourist areas in: Oaxaca City, Monte Alban, Puerto Escondido, and Huatulco.

Puebla state – Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution

Exercise increased caution due to crime.

Gang-related violence is often linked to the widespread theft of petroleum and natural gas from the state oil company and other suppliers.

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees.

Queretaro state – Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution

Exercise increased caution due to crime.

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees.

Quintana Roo state – Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution

Exercise increased caution due to crime.

Criminal activity and violence, including homicide, remain a primary concern throughout the state. While most of these homicides appeared to be targeted, criminal organization assassinations and turf battles between criminal groups have resulted in violent crime in areas frequented by U.S. citizens. Bystanders have been injured or killed in shooting incidents.

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees in Quintana Roo state, which include tourist areas in: Cancun, Cozumel, Playa del Carmen, Tulum, and the Riviera Maya.

San Luis Potosi state – Level 3: Reconsider Travel

Reconsider travel due to crime.

Violent crime and gang activity are common in parts of San Luis Potosi state.

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Sinaloa state – Level 4: Do Not Travel

Do not travel due to crime.

Violent crime is widespread. Criminal organizations are based and operating in Sinaloa state.

Travel for U.S. government employees is limited to the following areas with the noted restrictions:

  • Mazatlan: U.S. government employees may travel by air or sea only. U.S. government employees are limited to the Zona Dorada and historic town center, and must use direct routes when traveling to and from those locations and the airport and cruise terminals.
  • Los Mochis and Topolobampo: U.S. government employees may travel by air or sea only. U.S. government employees are restricted to the city and the port, and must use direct routes when traveling between these locations and to and from the airport.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Sonora state – Level 3: Reconsider Travel

Reconsider travel due to crime.

Sonora is a key location used by the international drug trade and human trafficking networks. However, northern Sonora experiences much lower levels of crime than cities closer to Sinaloa and other parts of Mexico.

U.S. government employees may not travel to:

  • The triangular region west of the Mariposa Port of Entry, east of Sonoyta, and north of Altar.
  • The district within Nogales that lies to the north of Avenida Instituto Tecnologico and between Periferico (Bulevar Luis Donaldo Colosio) and Corredor Fiscal (Federal Highway 15D), and the residential areas to the east of Plutarco Elias Calles.
  • The eastern edge of the state of Sonora, which borders the state of Chihuahua (all points along that border east of Federal Highway 17, the road between Moctezuma and Sahuaripa, and State Highway 20 between Sahuaripa and the intersection with Federal Highway 16).
  • All points south of Hermosillo (south of Highways 100 to the west and 20 to the east) including San Carlos, Guaymas, and Empalme.

In addition, U.S. government employees may not use taxi services in Nogales.

U.S. government employees may travel between the Nogales border crossing points of DeConcini and Mariposa in Nogales to and from the Hermosillo Consulate during the day only on Highway 15D. U.S. government employees may stop in the towns of Santa Ana and Imuris and at restaurant/restroom facilities located along the highway.

U.S. government employees may travel to Puerto Peñasco via the Lukeville/Sonoyta crossing during daylight hours on Federal Highway 8, or by using Federal Highway 15 south from Nogales and east via Federal Highway 2 and State Highway 37 through Caborca during daylight hours. U.S. government employees may also travel directly from the nearest U.S. Ports of Entry to San Luis Rio Colorado, Cananea, and Agua Prieta, but may not go beyond the city limits.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Tabasco state – Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution

Exercise increased caution due to crime.

There are no travel restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees.

Tamaulipas state – Level 4: Do Not Travel

Do not travel due to crime.

Violent crime, such as murder, armed robbery, carjacking, kidnapping, extortion, and sexual assault, is common. Gang activity, including gun battles and blockades, is widespread. Armed criminal groups target public and private passenger buses as well as private automobiles traveling through Tamaulipas, often taking passengers hostage and demanding ransom payments. Federal and state security forces have limited capability to respond to violence in many parts of the state.

U.S. government employees may only travel within a limited radius between the U.S. Consulates in Nuevo Laredo and Matamoros and their respective U.S. Ports of Entry. U.S. government employees may not travel between cities in Tamaulipas using interior Mexican highways and they must observe a curfew between midnight and 6:00 a.m. in the cities of Matamoros and Nuevo Laredo.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Tlaxcala state – Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution

Exercise increased caution due to crime.

There are no travel restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees.

Veracruz state – Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution

Exercise increased caution due to crime.

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees.

Yucatan state – Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution

Exercise increased caution due to crime.

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees in Yucatan state, which includes tourist areas in: Chichen Itza, Merida, Uxmal, and Valladolid.

Zacatecas state – Level 3: Reconsider Travel

Reconsider travel due to crime.

Violent crime and gang activity are common in parts of Zacatecas state.

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

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Hague Convention Participation

Party to the Hague Abduction Convention?
Yes
U.S. Treaty Partner under the Hague Abduction Convention?
Yes

What You Can Do

Learn how to respond to abductions FROM the US
Learn how to respond to abductions TO the US

Embassies and Consulates

List of Consulates / Consular Agencies

(Also available at: https://mx.usembassy.gov/embassy-consulates/)

U.S. Embassy in Mexico City
Paseo de la Reforma 305
Colonia Cuauhtémoc
C.P. 06500, Ciudad de México
Phone: (01-55) 5080-2000
Fax: (01-55) 5080-2005

U.S. Citizen Services
From Mexico: 01-55-8526-2561 or 01-800-681-9374
From the United States: 1-844-528-6611
E-Mail: ACSMexicoCity@state.gov

U.S. Consulate General in Ciudad Juarez
Paseo de la Victoria #3650
Fracc. Partido Senecú
Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, México C.P. 32543
Phone: (656) 227-3000

U.S. Citizen Services
From Mexico: 01-656-344-3032 or 01-800-681-9374
From the United States: 1-844-528-6611
E-Mail: CDJSCS@state.gov

U.S. Consulate General in Guadalajara
Progreso 175
Col. Americana, C.P. 44160
Guadalajara, Jalisco, México
Phone: (01-33) 4624-2102

U.S. Citizen Services
From Mexico: 01-334-624-2102 or 01-800-681-9374
From the United States: 1-844-528-6611
E-Mail: ACSGDL@state.gov

U.S. Consulate General in Hermosillo
141 Monterey Street
Col. Esqueda, C.P. 83000
Hermosillo, Sonora, México
Phone: (+52) 662-690-3262
Fax: (+52) 662-217-2571

U.S. Citizen Services
From Mexico: 01-662-690-3262 or 01-800-681-9374
From the United States: 1-844-528-6611
E-Mail: HermoACS@state.gov

U.S. Consulate General in Matamoros
Calle Primera #2002
Colonia Jardín, C.P. 87330
Matamoros, Tamaulipas, México
Phone: (+52) 868-208-2000
Fax: (+52) 868-816-0883

U.S. Citizen Services
From Mexico: 01-868-206-1076 or 01-800-681-9374
From the United States: 1-844-528-6611
E-Mail: MatamorosACS@state.gov

U.S. Consulate General in Merida
Calle 60 No. 338-K x 29 y 31
Col. Alcalá Martin, C.P. 97050
Mérida, Yucatán, México
Phone: (+52) 999-942-5700
Fax: (+52) 999-942-5758

U.S. Citizen Services
From Mexico: 01-999-316-7168 or 01-800-681-9374
From the United States: 1-844-528-661
E-Mail: AskMeridaACS@state.gov

U.S. Consulate General in Monterrey
Ave. Alfonso Reyes #150
Col. Valle del Poniente
Santa Catarina, Nuevo León
México 66196
Phone: (+52) 81-8047-3100
Fax: (+52) 81-8342-5433

U.S. Citizen Services
From Mexico: 01-814-160-5512 or 01-800-681-9374
From the United States: 1-844-528-6611
E-Mail: HermoACS@state.gov

U.S. Consulate General in Nogales
Calle San José s/n
Fraccionamiento los Álamos
C. P. 84065 Nogales, Sonora
Phone: (+52) 631-311-8150
Fax: (+52) 631-313-4652

U.S. Citizen Services
From Mexico: 01-631-980-0522 or 01-800-681-9374
From the United States: 1-844-528-6611
E-Mail: NogalesACS@state.gov

U.S. Consulate General in Nuevo Laredo
Paseo Colon 1901
Colonia Madero, C.P. 88260
Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas
Phone: (+52) 867-233-0557

U.S. Citizen Services
From Mexico: 01-867-233-0557 or 01-800-681-9374
From the United States: 1-844-528-6611
E-Mail: NuevoLaredo-ACS@state.gov

U.S. Consulate General in Tijuana
Paseo de las Culturas s/n
Mesa de Otay
Delegación Centenario C.P. 22425
Tijuana, Baja California
Phone: (+52) 664-977-2000

U.S. Citizen Services
From Mexico: 01-664-748-0129 or 01-800-681-9374
From the United States: 1-844-528-6611
Email: ACSTijuana@state.gov

Consular Agencies

(Also available at: https://mx.usembassy.gov/embassy-consulates/consular-agencies/)

Acapulco
(An extension of the Embassy in Mexico City)
Hotel Continental Emporio
Costera M. Alemán 121 – Office 14
Acapulco, Guerrero C.P. 39670
Phone: (+52) 744-481-0100
Fax: (+52) 744-484-0300
E-Mail: ConAgencyAcapulco@state.gov

Cancun
(An extension of the Consulate in Merida)
Blvd. Kukulcan Km 13 ZH
Torre La Europea, Despacho 301
Cancún, Quintana Roo C.P. 77500
Phone: (+52) 999-942-5700
E-Mail: ConAgencyCancun@state.gov

Los Cabos
(An extension of the Consulate in Tijuana)
Las Tiendas de Palmilla L-B221, Km. 27.5 Carretera Transpeninsular
San José del Cabo, Baja California Sur C.P. 23406
Phone: (+52) 624-143-3566
Fax: (+52) 624-143-6750
E-mail: ConAgencyLosCabos@state.gov

Mazatlan
(An extension of the Consulate General in Hermosillo)
Address: Playa Gaviotas 202, Local 10. Zona Dorada.
Mazatlán, Sinaloa, México
Phone: (+52) 81-8047-3145
Fax (+52) 669-916-7531
E-mail: ConAgencyMazatlan@state.gov

Oaxaca
(An extension of the Embassy in Mexico City)
Macedonio Alcalá No. 407, Office 20
Oaxaca, Oaxaca C.P. 68000
Phone: (+52) 951-514-3054, 516-2853
Fax: (+52) 951-516-2701
E-mail: ConAgencyOaxaca@state.gov

Piedras Negras
(An extension of the Consulate in Nuevo Laredo)
Abasolo #211, Local #3, Centro
Piedras Negras, Coahuila C.P. 26000
Phone: (+52) 867-233-0557
E-mail: NuevoLaredo-ACS@state.gov

Playa del Carmen
(An extension of the Consulate in Merida)
Plaza Progreso, Local 33, Second floor
Carretera Federal Puerto Juarez-Chetumal, Mz. 293 Lt. 1.
Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo C.P. 77710
Phone: (+52) 999-942-5700
E-mail: ConAgencyPlayadelC@state.gov

Puerto Vallarta
(An extension of the Consulate General in Guadalajara)
Paseo de los Cocoteros #85 Sur
Paradise Plaza, Local L-7, Segundo Piso
Nuevo Vallarta, Nayarit C.P. 63732
Phone: (01-33) 4624-2102
E-mail: ConAgencyPuertoV@state.gov

San Miguel de Allende
(An extension of the Embassy in Mexico City)
Plaza La Luciérnaga, Libramiento Jose Manuel Zavala No. 165, Locales 4 y 5
Colonia La Luciérnaga
San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato C.P. 37745
Phone: (+52) 415-152-2357
Fax: (+52) 415-152-1588
E-mail: ConAgencySanMiguel@state.gov

General Information


Mexico and the United States have been treaty partners under the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (Hague Abduction Convention) since October 1, 1991.

For information concerning travel to Mexico, including information about the location of the U.S. Embassy, the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, entry/exit requirements, safety and security, crime, medical facilities and health information, traffic safety, road conditions and aviation safety, please see country-specific information for Mexico. 

The U.S. Department of State reports statistics and compliance information for individual countries in the Annual Report on International Parental Child Abduction (IPCA).  The report is located here.

 

Hague Abduction Convention


The U.S. Department of State serves as the U.S. Central Authority (USCA) for the Hague Abduction Convention.  In this capacity, the Department's Bureau of Consular Affairs, Directorate for Overseas Citizens Services, Office of Children's Issues facilitates the submission of applications under the Hague Abduction Convention for the return of, or access to, children located in countries that are U.S. treaty partners, including Mexico.  Parents are strongly encouraged to contact the Department of State for assistance prior to initiating the Hague process directly with the foreign Central Authority.

Contact information:

United States Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs
CA/OCS/CI
SA-17, 9th Floor
Washington, DC 20522-1709
Telephone:  1-888-407-4747
Outside the United States or Canada: 1-202-501-4444
Fax: 1-202-485-6221
Website

The Mexican Central Authority for the Hague Abduction Convention is the Secretaria de Relaciones Exteriores (SRE).  The Mexican Central Authority performs an administrative role in processing Hague Abduction Convention applications.  They can be reached at:

Secretari­a de Relaciones Exteriores
Direccion General de Proteccion a Mexicanos en el Exterior
Direccion de Derecho de Familia
Plaza Juarez No. 20, Piso 17
Colonia Centro, Del. Cuauhtemoc
C.P. 06010 Mexico, D.F.
Telephone: 011-52-55-36865100
Fax: 011-52-55-36865865
Email: dgpmexterior@sre.gob.m
Website

To initiate a Hague case for return of, or access to, a child in Mexico, the left behind parent should submit a Hague application to the Mexican Central Authority, either through the USCA or directly.  In exceptional cases, some courts may accept a petition filed directly.  The Mexican Central Authority will, upon receipt and acceptance of the Hague Convention application, prepare a written communique for the court containing an explanation of the Hague Convention and its objectives and forward the application to the appropriate state court. The USCA is available to answer questions about the Hague application process, to forward a completed application to the Mexican Central Authority, and to subsequently monitor its progress through the foreign administrative and legal processes. 

There are not fees for filing Hague applications with either the United States or Mexican central authorities.  If the applicant parent hires an attorney, attorney fees are the responsibility of the applicant parent.  Additional costs may include airplane tickets for court appearances and for the return of the child, if so ordered.

Return

A parent or legal guardian may file an application under the Hague Abduction Convention for return to the United States of a child abducted to, or wrongfully retained in, Mexico.  The U.S. Department of State can assist parents living in the United States to understand whether the Convention is an available civil remedy and can provide information on the process for submitting a Hague application.

Visitation/Access

A person may file an application under the Hague Abduction Convention for access to a child living in Mexico.  The criteria for acceptance of a Hague access application vary from country to country.  The U.S. Department of State can assist parents living in the United States to understand country-specific criteria and provide information on the process for submitting a Hague application.

Retaining an Attorney

Applicants are not required to retain an attorney to file a Hague Convention application in Mexico.  A parent may choose to retain an attorney, however, to follow-up on the case and to provide them with direct information on the status of the case. A retained attorney should contact the Mexican Central Authority as soon as possible after the application is submitted.  The Mexican Central Authority does not represent Hague Convention applicants in court or assign an attorney to represent the applicant.

The U.S. Embassy and the U.S. Consulates in Mexico posts a list of attorneys including those who specialize in family law.

This list is provided as a courtesy service only and does not constitute an endorsement of any individual attorney. The Department of State assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the following persons or firms. Professional credentials and areas of expertise are provided directly by the lawyers.

Mediation

Courts in Mexico prefer to resolve cases through voluntary agreements, usually negotiated under the supervision of the court. The use of professional mediation services is not widely available in Mexico and is not a prevalent practice in Hague Convention cases with Mexico.

Exercising Custody Rights

While travelling in a foreign country, you are subject to the laws of that country. It is important for parents to understand that, although a left-behind parent in the United States may have custody or visitation rights pursuant to a U.S. custody order, that order may not be valid and enforceable in the country in which the child is located.  For this reason, we strongly encourage you to speak to a local attorney if planning to remove a child from a foreign country without the consent of the other parent.  Attempts to remove your child to the United States may:

  • Endanger your child and others;
  • Prejudice any future judicial efforts; and
  • Could result in your arrest and imprisonment.

The U.S. government cannot interfere with another country’s court or law enforcement system.

To understand the legal effect of a U.S. order in a foreign country, a parent should consult with a local attorney in the country in which the child is located.  

For information about hiring an attorney abroad, see our section on Retaining a Foreign Attorney. 

Although we cannot recommend an attorney to you, most U.S. Embassies have lists of attorneys available online. Please visit the local U.S. Embassy or Consulate website for a full listing.

For more information on consular assistance for U.S. citizens arrested abroad, please see our website.

Country officers are available to speak with you Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.  For assistance with an abduction in progress or any emergency situation that occurs after normal business hours, on weekends, or federal holidays, please call toll free at 1-888-407-4747. See all contact information.

DISCLAIMER: The information in this flyer is provided for general information only, is not intended to be legal advice, and may change without notice. Questions involving interpretation of law should be addressed to an attorney licensed in the relevant jurisdiction. 

 

Last Updated: June 26, 2018

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Mexico City
Paseo de la Reforma 305
Colonia Cuauhtemoc
Mexico, D.F., Mexico C.P.
06500
Telephone
011-52-55-5080-2000
Emergency
American Citizen Services: 01 800 681 9374 (toll free in Mexico) / 81 4160 5512 (from within Mexico) / 844 528 6611 (toll free in the U.S.)
Fax
011-52-55-5080-2201

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