News Worms
News Worms


State Department Confirms Mexican Tourism Safety

State Department Confirms Mexican Tourism Safety

The US state department issued an advisory this Wednesday designating category 4 or US "do not travel to" warnings to the border state of Tamaulipas, as well as the Pacific coast states of Sinaloa, Colima, Michoacán and Guerrero putting the states in the same danger category as war-ridden countries such as Somalia, Afghanistan, and Syria.

The State Department had earlier asked the USA citizens to not travel to all or part of those states, but this time the warnings are stricter as they have been placed on a level 4 - the same category given to war-torn Somalia, Afghanistan and Syria due to greater likelihood of life-threatening risks.

Also new in the travel advisory system, travelers going to Mexico can use a separate color-coded map of the country that breaks down each Mexican state with warnings specific to those areas.

Officials cite continued murder, kidnaping and carjacking related to gang activity as the primary reason for the warning.

The level 2 advisory calls on travelers to exercise caution but does not explicitly suggest they avoid the areas.

A huge part of northern Mexico, including the border states of Coahuila, Chihuahua, Nuevo Leon and Sonora among others, was under level 3 warnings.

A statement from the Secretary of Tourism of Mexico (Sectur) reported that 80 percent of the more popular foreign tourist destinations such as Cancun, Riviera Maya, Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta-Riviera Nayari and Mexico City were not included in the travel advisory.

In a statement, Mexico's Tourism Ministry noted that more than 28 of its most popular tourism destinations for global travelers have no restrictions. Personal travel by land and to the resort city of Acapulco had already been prohibited.

Turf wars between rival drug cartels have torn apart Tamaulipas, and Sinaloa is home to the cartel of the same name.

The state department warns that "in Guerrero state, armed groups operate independently of the government in many areas". Michoacan was so dominated by a drug cartel that vigilantes took up arms in 2013 to drive them out.

Colima has seen homicides skyrocket in recent years due to the growth of the Jalisco New Generation drug cartel, and the state now has Mexico's highest homicide rate, with 83.3 killings per 100,000 residents, according to figures for the first 11 months of 2017.

The violence also spread to some popular tourist areas a year ago, like Quintana Roo, a state in Mexico's southeast that had several resort areas, and 134 homicides were registered in the state until August 2017.

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