Is ALL travel to Mexico prohibited and why is there such confusion regarding this policy?
No. Certain areas are restricted and some areas are not. All areas require permission from at least an O6 and other travel requirements must be met.
There are no areas military members can travel to in Mexico without at least an O6 approval.
First you must complete a foreign travel request package provided by your command and meet all requirements. These requirements include meeting with the station Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) office, station Anti-Terrorism Office (ATO) as well as receiving a Mexico safety travel brief. Once all requirements are met, ATO will forward a foreign travel request letter to your command’s CO for approval.
Increased drug cartel violence has become a safety concern to Americans who travel to certain areas within Mexico. The Commanding General of Northern Command has issued foreign travel policies that include Mexico.
Safety of the Marines is our biggest concern. Marines can be held accountable for violation of a lawful order under UCMJ.