Friday, August 27, 2010

US ConGen Monterrey in Mexico Goes Unaccompanied

Only adult family members allowed effective September 10

The following is an excerpt from the Warden Message released by ConGen Monterrey on August 27, 2010:

The U.S. Embassy and Consulate General in Monterrey have undertaken an immediate security review following the shooting on August 20, 2010, in front of the American School in Monterrey (ASFM).  This review focused on the ability to provide adequate security for the children of U.S. personnel attending school.

Discussions with police and other security officials indicated that the level of violence in Monterrey is increasing, including where our children go to school.  Furthermore, local police and private patrols do not have the capacity to deter criminal elements from areas around the schools attended by the children of U.S. personnel assigned to the Consulate.  Given the increasing level of violence that is occurring all over Monterrey, including near where our children go to school, they are at significantly increased risk and there is not the capacity to adequately mitigate that threat.

Based on this assessment, and combined with the high incidence of kidnappings in the Monterrey area, U.S. government personnel from the Consulate General have been advised that the immediate, practical and reliable way to reduce the security risks for all children is to remove them from Monterrey.  Beginning September 10, 2010, the Consulate General in Monterrey will become a partially unaccompanied post with no minor dependents of USG employees.

Read the whole thing here.

According to its website ConGen Monterrey is one of the largest and busiest consulates in the world.  The Monterrey consular district, includes Nuevo Leon, Durango, Zacatecas, San Luis Potosi and most of Coahuila. This district has nearly 11 million inhabitants (the size of Texas),  The Consulate General staff includes 54 Americans representing eight U.S. government agencies plus their 98 Mexican employees.

A source informed us that the request to go on partial unaccompanied post was made by Ambassador Pascual following the shooting at the American school in Monterrey this past week.

I expect that the 15% danger pay for post will get a bump up following this development.  And with this new designation, we're almost certain that families with minor children will return to the US and wait here for the conclusion of the employees' tour of duty in Monterrey. We don't know at this time how many families with minor children will be separated, if folks will get a chance to curtail their assignments or if this will have an impact on the length of assignments for Monterrey in the near future. 

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