RE: Crossing through Nuevo Laredo
I wouldn't get in the safety issue just because anything bad can happen anywhere in the world and nobody but you can decide on your comfort level.
I can share what I do to avoid Laredo, TX and Nuevo Laredo -becaues of traffic delays-... you could use it to ease your safety concerns.
Take the "new" Colombia bridge via toll road from I-35 south bound about 20 miles before Laredo, you'll see the signs for the toll road. Is longer -distance- but save lots of time. There's nothing or almost nothing in terms of restaurants, gas stations, etc. so you need to plan ahead when taking the detour.Doing the temporary import for your car, insurance, etc. is so much faster and there's no long wait.
Once you cross the border, you'll get back to the same Laredo-Monterrey road saving hours. Look up a map and you'll get a better idea in terms of distances.
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