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Medical Tourism Results in Frightening Kidnapping in Mexico

March 8, 2023

Medical Tourism and Travel Risks in Mexico

Medical tourism to Mexico has resulted in four Americans being kidnapped and held hostage by armed criminals in Matamoros. Authorities have labeled this incident as a case of mistaken identity, as the Americans visiting Mexico were not the intended target. Organized crime in Mexico creates a number of risks for Americans traveling for vacations or medical purposes. What might appear as a simple cross-border road trip could result in something much more complex that ultimately puts you and your loved ones at risk.

Medical tourism to Mexico illustrated by a photo of Mexico City.

The growing trend of Americans visiting border towns in Mexico for medicine and medical procedures highlights the very real risks of kidnapping and ransom attempts. Simply entering the country with a vehicle with American plates paints a target on the backs of tourists, drawing the attention of armed criminals looking to extort visitors for money. Mexico continues to experience challenges related to organized crime, which at times targets tourists, including vacationers and corporate travelers.

Medical Tourism: Safe Travel Services to Mexico 

Safe travel to Mexico has grown to be especially complex for Americans. Popular vacation destinations such as Cancun are very different from other locations throughout Mexico. Resort towns remain friendly to American visitors, while border towns create very real security risks that should never be overlooked. Oftentimes, these small towns with medical facilities and pharmacies are closely monitored by organized criminals, and local police are limited in managing such issues. At times, locals who appear to be friendly and helpful may be relaying information to criminals who will later attempt to kidnap visitors and hold them for ransom. Further, medical emergencies experienced in Mexico may not be addressed properly, as local hospitals and clinics may have limited resources and low standards of care.

Additionally, travel insurance is likely to offer very little for those who are concerned about kidnapping attempts. Should you fall victim to a kidnapping while in Mexico, your entire travel insurance policy might be voided, leaving you to manage such issues. If visitors fail to address these travel risks, they could be forced to pay massive ransoms, face serious personal injury, or worse, death.

Executive Protection and Dedicated Drivers From AFIMAC

One of the only available solutions for tourists and corporate travelers is to enlist a travel management company that can help facilitate your travel experience and ensure your safety while visiting Mexico. 

Travel management and security companies such as AFIMAC maintain cross-border resources that are not only familiar with the area but can help you blend in with your surroundings. When risks arise, local protective drivers can pivot in an instant, rearrange travel arrangements, and ensure your safety during medical tourism. Protective drivers also allow visitors from America to conduct their business in Mexico and return home without issue. 

The price of a protective driver is incredibly small compared to the costs and safety risks of a kidnapping attempt. Organized criminals in Mexico are familiar with their surroundings and often look to take advantage of tourists who appear to be lost or out of place.

Contact us today and fill out the form below to learn more about AFIMAC’s travel management offerings are suitable for all Americans visiting Mexico for business or medical reasons.

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