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Although travel in the area is reasonably safe, at this writing the U.S. State Department was advising visitors to exercise caution in Chiapas because of the presence of armed civilian groups in some areas, especially rural areas east of Ocosingo. Although none of the sporadic confrontations has been near a main tourist destination, armed men did take over one guest ranch near Ocosingo in 2003. There have been no major incidents since that time, however. Review the information on the U.S. State Department Web site at travel.state.gov/travel for an update on the situation before you go. Always carry your tourist card and passport even on day trips throughout the region. It's best not to stay out after dark. If you're a first-time visitor, you may be more comfortable taking tours of the region—especially if you don't speak Spanish. Throughout all of Chiapas, the number to call in case of emergency is 066. Ask for an operator who speaks English.
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