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Rise in violent incidents in northern Sonora Mexico has authorities warning AZ tourists | News

NOGALES, Ariz. (KVOA) — Disappearances and armed attacks are on the rise in northern Sonora Mexico and it doesn’t seem to be letting up as we approach the 4th of July.

It’s a holiday that usually sees a lot of Arizonans head south to the U.S. Mexico border, now authorities want Arizona tourists to be careful if they travel there.

“I think we are overwhelmed. The authorities are overwhelmed in their tasks to provide security to the people, to the civilians, to the people in general,” said Damián Góngora, a man whose father and uncle went missing in Sonora Mexico.

It was on June 18, when Damián Góngora lost all contact with his father Sergio Góngora and his uncle Ramiro.

Both men were traveling from Nogales, Mexico to their ranch near Caborca, Mexico when they went missing.

“What we know is that the ranch house was burned, and that they were taken away. There are no indications that they are dead or (were) burned inside the house,” Góngora said.

Sergio is a doctor. Ramiro is a cattle rancher.

The brothers have been missing for more than 14 days and according to the family, Mexican authorities have been tight lipped about new info.

And this hasn’t been the only case.

Just this past Monday in the same region a woman was hurt on the Sonoyta-Caborca highway – in what is being called an armed aggression.

The woman was with her husband and three children driving from California.

“In the face of the increase in these peaks of violence, all the police agencies are heavily involved in this,” said Alfonso Durazo, the governor of Sonora Mexico.

In its latest travel alert, the US State Department placed Sonora, Mexico on a level three alert asking people to reconsider traveling there.

The Consulate of Mexico in Tucson is asking travelers to contact authorities in case of any emergency.

“Just like in the United States the number to call is 911,” said Rafael Barceló Durazo from The Consulate of Mexico in Tucson.

The consulate suggests travelers use this guide called “Héroes Paisanos.”

The guide has numbers, routes and resources.

The recommendation is to always travel during the day.

“There are always authorities that will be able to accompany you, the national guard on the road, municipal and state police,” Barceló Durazo said.

Authorities are urging all of Arizonans who are thinking about traveling to Sonora Mexico to take the recommendation of the state department seriously because Sonora is in a level three, that means authorities have seen many kidnapping and crimes there.

The Governor of Sonora says they are adding extra patrols in the state to hopefully make it safer.

For tips on traveling safely to Mexico, click here.

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