I just returned from Tampico a few months ago, and I would say that it is a safe place to be. I lived there for about a year as a missionary. You shouldn't have any problems. No where near as violent as Cd. Juarez or other parts of Mexico. Just be smart about whats going on around you and stay out of their popular hangouts, like bars or clubs.
If Spencer says Tampico is safe (relatively) then he's probably right. If your doing any field consulting in the gas fields of northern Tamaulipas then be very careful. A nephew who works as an eng. for Pemex was abducted and released a day later by XXX recently while doing field work somewhere south if Reynosa.
Tampico is relatively safe. Much safer than Juarez, Reynosa, Monterrey. I would recommend staying in town at the Hampton Inn. You could stay on the beach, it is very safe, due to the Mexican Navy Base. Just use common sense. Dont stay out late and stay away from bars. I was there in July and felt safe. There is a shootout from time to time. I read the Tampico paper daily. www.elsoldetampico.com.mx
I just returned from Mexico in August, terrible experiences, especially in Tampico there is lots of extortions going on..we were stopped by a group who wanted to steal our suv and other belongings , luckily we had purchased vehicle insurance,they did let us go .they took about $200, WHICH IS NOTHING COMPARED TO the life of my family..Im just glad they didn't hurt any of us..and this happened in Tampico in the main city...If you are prepared to pay extortions and don't mind putting your family in danger . go ahead, go..as for me I won't return for a very long time .
I dunno if this is too paranoid or not, but narcos do read blogs similar to this one and they know how to upload Youtube vids obviously and they have connections all over the place. Who's to say the wrong guy doesn't read this and pass it on to his buddy in tampico?
Just stick with you group, be alert, and DO NOT talk about why you are in Tampico to anyone outside of your group. If possible, for additional security, for the meeting take your own vehicle, don't get a ride with the PEMEX group or in the PEMEX vehicles as they may be being watched.