State Dept. Issues Travel Advisory For 5 Mexican States
12 January, 2018, 12:24 | Author: Brenda Erickson
The U.S. State Department increased the risk factor with new travel warnings for Americans in Mexico Wednesday.
The travel advisory says violent crimes like homicides, kidnappings, carjackings and robberies are widespread. Mexico has 31 states, half of which are under level 3 or 4 warnings.
The advisory tells Americans "do not travel" to the five Mexican coastal states of Sinaloa, Colima, Michoacán, Guerrero, and Tamaulipas.
The level 2 advisory calls on travelers to exercise caution but does not explicitly suggest they avoid the areas.
While not addressing the latest warnings directly, the government's Mexico Tourism Board said in a statement that "Mexico's major global tourism destinations have been explicitly listed as having no travel restrictions", apparently a reference to major resorts like Cancun, Puerto Vallarta and Huatulco.
Colima, Guerrero, Sinaloa, Michoakan, and Tamaulipas were all placed at level 4 on the State Department's travel advisory scale, comparable to conflict zones like Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria, the BBC reported.
The level three advisory was offered to most areas in Mexico City, Jalisco (where Guadalajara is located), as well as the Puerto Vallarta resorts and lakeside expat community of Chapala and Ajijic.
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"The U.S. Department of State today confirmed that major worldwide tourism destinations in Mexico are safe", the Mexico Tourism Board said in a statement issued Wednesday.
The advisory adds that "there are no USA government restrictions in tourist areas in Baja California, which includes: Ensenada, Rosarito and Tijuana". In the US, it was five.
Clashes between rival drug gangs contributed to a record number of murders in Mexico previous year, according to official data, dealing a fresh blow to President Enrique Pena Nieto's pledge to bring gang violence under control with presidential elections due in July 2018.
Esponda said local officials and tourism operators are investing in increased security, including camera systems and the construction of a new marine base.
The state department has discouraged a visit to these states previously warning citizens about traveling to Los Cabos and Cancun last summer after six dead bodies were hung from bridges near the Mexican tourist resort.
"We are encouraged, and this underscores our belief that Los Cabos is safe and secure", said Rodrigo Esponda, managing director of the Los Cabos Tourism Board.
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