US State Dept. issues travel warning for Mexico violence

24 August, 2017, 02:55 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
  • US citizens warned about traveling to Mexico's Cancun and Los Cabos as violence increases

The travel warning is a major hit to Mexico's $20 billion-a-year tourism industry, of which the regions surrounding Cancun and Los Cabos are crown jewels.

Quintana Roo's public security secretary Rodolfo del Angel Campos said the state had been "very prompt" in addressing security in tourist areas.

"There is no evidence that criminal organizations have targeted USA citizens based on their nationality", the advisory said.

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The State Department warns of three types of kidnapping: "traditional", in which a victim is physically abducted and held for ransom; "express", in which a victim his held for a short time and forced to withdraw money; and "virtual", in which a victim is coerced by phone threats to provide phone numbers of family and friends, and then isolated until a ransom is paid. Quintana Roo - home not only to Cancun, but also to Tulum, Playa del Carmen and Cozumel - alone draws 10 million tourists a year, according to Bloomberg.

The warnings come as homicides in Mexico are set to rise to their highest since at least the turn of the century.

US government personnel are prohibited from patronizing adult clubs and gambling establishments in the states of Coahuila, Durango, Zacatecas, Aguascalientes, San Luis Potosi, Nuevo Leon, Tamaulipas, Jalisco, Colima, and Nayarit. There is no evidence that criminal organizations have targeted US citizens based on their nationality.

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The advisory, issued August 22, upgraded the warnings for the states of Quintana Roo and Baja California Sur.

"Shooting incidents, in which innocent bystanders have been injured or killed, have occurred" in both states, the USA warned. As a result of security precautions that US government personnel must take while traveling to parts of Mexico, our response time to emergencies involving USA citizens may be hampered or delayed. As for the murders and carjackings cited in the warning, it said most involving USA citizens happened at night on isolated roads.

In some areas, travel is banned at night and in specific areas.

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Mexico City, Hidalgo, Guanajuato (includes San Miguel de Allende and Leon), Campeche, Puebla, Queretaro, Tabasco (includes Villahermosa), Tlaxcala and Yucatan (includes Merida and Chichen Itza) do not have advisories in effect.

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