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Arrests and Detentions

Arrest of a US Citizen in Mexico

Arrest of a U.S. Citizen: If you are aware that a U.S. citizen is under arrest in Mexico, please ask the authorities to notify the Consulate immediately. The Consulate can work to help protect the person and ensure fair treatment.

The Consulate will also visit the prisoner, provide information about the local legal process including a list of local attorneys (PDF), and notify family and friends.

Please see the links to important information on these topics in the sidebar to the right. There is also information about the requirements for transfer to a U.S. prison for those individuals who have received a final court sentence.

The Consulate Can Do the Following

  1. Provide a list of local attorneys (PDF).
  2. Contact relatives or friends to notify them of the citizen’s case, if authorized by the prisoner. Before contacting anyone, the prisoner must sign the Privacy Waiver Act (PDF 185 KB) authorizing us to do so.
  3. Relay requests to family and friends for money or other aid.
  4. Accept funds as a trust fund deposit and dispense them as instructed by the citizen or the remitter.
  5. Work with prison officials to ensure fair and humane treatment consistent with that granted to Mexican nationals and ensure Americans are afforded due process under Mexican law.
  6. Protest mistreatment.

The Consulate Cannot

  1. Represent a U.S. Citizen at trial, give legal advice, or pay legal fees and/or fines with U.S. Government funds.
  2. Demand the immediate release of a U.S. citizen who has been arrested or intervene with the due process of law.
  3. Run errands for the prisoner.

In order to receive consular services, a prisoner must provide proof of U.S. citizenship and identity.