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Rocky Point news site calls checkpoint reports 'untrue'

A travel warning issued by the U.S. Consulate in Nogales, Son., is based on unsubstantiated rumors, said a Puerto Peñasco news website.

The consulate warned Americans traveling to the Mexican resort town, also known as Rocky Point, of "unofficial checkpoints" set up 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 "Warden Message" states.

Rocky Point News Online, an English-language publication, said Tuesday that the warning is based on rumors that are "unsubstantiated, uncorroborated... and untrue."

Business leaders in Puerto Penasco, known commonly as Rocky Point, met on Monday to discuss the backlash of calls and emails received as a result of the warning that specifically mentioned dangers on Highway 8, the road to this popular beach resort town.

According to the director of Mexico’s Federal Highway Patrol, no incidents like those discussed in the warning have occurred. The AFI, which is like the Federal Investigative Agency, has also denied any knowledge of problems along Highway 8. Local police chief Erick Landagaray expressed surprise that the Consulate would issue a warning without so much as a thread of truth to it, without first consulting with his office. The Attorneys General at the State as well as Federal level have also said there is no basis for the claims of violence on the road to Puerto Penasco.

...

It would be naïve to think that the timing of this warning was accidental, coming as it did right before one of the biggest weekends for this resort community. That negative reports hit the media harder right before Spring Break or other important holidays for travelers is nothing new. What is new, however, is the participation of the U.S. Consulate’s complicity in unnecessarily scaring the traveling public and causing harm to many American-owned businesses south of the border.

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The site posted its take on the travel warning in a note of its Facebook profile. Rocky Point News Online has yet to post the story on its website.

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State Dep't: Warden Message on unofficial checkpoints