Rocky Point, Mexico, Wednesday Feb. 7, 2007 Greg Bryan/Arizona Daily Star

The U.S. Consulate in Nogales has sent out an email further explaining the alert it issued on May 19 about Mexican Highway 8 to Rocky Point.

In the email obtained by the Arizona Daily Star, the consulate stands behind its warden message but clarifies several points.

For instance, it says, “The current warden message only advises against travel on Highway 8 at night and should not be construed to include other routes within Sonora nor the city of Puerto Peñasco itself.”

The alert and subsequent news reports about it, sparked outrage from Rocky Point business owners who call it untrue and unjustified. They were particularly upset about this sentence from the warden message: "Motorists who have not stopped at unofficial checkpoints have been shot at and killed."

In a telephone interview Monday for the story the Arizona Daily Star published on Tuesday, Joseph Crook, a spokesman for U.S. Consulates in Sonora and Baja California, said that sentence referred to Mexico in general, not Highway 8 to Rocky Point. He also said there were no reports of U.S. citizens being killed or injured in relation to fake checkpoints on Highway 8.

This email addresses this point: “The Consulate has not received any reports of injuries to US citizens related to these checkpoints between the U.S. border  and Puerto Peñasco (Rocky Point).”

The email also clarifies what the alert is based on. The warden message said there had been “unconfirmed reports that unauthorized checkpoints have been set up by unknown persons at night.”

The new email says, “While revealing the sources of information to the general public is not always possible, information is checked for accuracy.  In this case, Mexican authorities verified receipt of reports about unauthorized checkpoints on Highway 8 between Lukeville, Arizona and Puerto Peñasco (Rocky Point, Sonora).  In response to these reports, local Mexican police increased their patrols of the area in an effort to apprehend the perpetrators.”

You can read the full text of the letter in the box to the left.