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U.S. warns of 'unofficial checkpoints' on Rocky Point route

Travel to Puerto Peñasco during daylight, says State Department

The U.S. Consulate in Nogales, Son., has issued a "Warden Message" warning of possible unauthorized checkpoints on Highway 8 between the border and Puerto Peñasco.

"There have been unconfirmed reports that unauthorized checkpoints have been set up by unknown persons at night. Reports from those passing through these checkpoints indicate that the operators of the checkpoint only requested to see identification before allowing them to pass. U.S. Consulate Nogales strongly advises any traveler who must take this route do so during daylight hours," the May 19 message states.

The warning offers tips for travelers who are stopped at an unofficial checkpoint:

1. Do not resist. Cooperate immediately and fully.
2. Stay calm, put up your hands, and comply with demands.
3. If you have a child in the car, immediately alert the checkpoint operators of the child's presence.
At some checkpoints, motorists who have not stopped at unofficial checkpoints have been shot at and killed.

The State Department doesn't offer any further information on where and when such killings have occurred, but Michel Marizco at BorderReporter.com says:

While no hard information has ever come across my desk about a fake checkpoint on the road to Rocky Point, there have certainly been fake checkpoints on most major Mexican highways. Last year, I remember writing a story about a Phoenix woman who tried to run a checkpoint on Highway 15 toward Hermosillo and getting gunned down with a fifty-cal. Earlier this year, Dos Mil’s thugs set up a checkpoint on Highway 14 toward Yecora. Hell, the mayor of a small town in that region got caught up in the blasted thing. Thus far, I have not heard of someone setting up a fake checkpoint on Highway 8 in Mexico. But the day is young and the party just got rolling.

The party in Rocky Point, however, may be taking a bit of a hit.

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State Dep't: Warden Message on unofficial checkpoints