U.S. issues highest travel warning for five Mexican states

Pauline Gross
January 12, 2018

The Mexico Tourism Board (MTB) called the U.S. State Department's new travel advisory system an upgrade over its previous one, but said there is room for improvement.

Violent crimes including homicides, kidnappings, carjackings and robberies are widespread, officials said.

The latest advisory gives the five Mexican states the same warning level as risky travel destinations like Syria, Yemen and Somalia.

The five states are Tamaulipas on the USA border and Sinaloa, Colima, Michoacan and Guerrero on the Pacific coast.

Overall, the State Department gave Mexico a category 2 classification, meaning that U.S. citizens should "exercise increased caution", according to the Times.

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 advisory adds that "there are no USA government restrictions in tourist areas in Baja California, which includes: Ensenada, Rosarito and Tijuana".

The border states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo Leon and Sonora as well as Durango, Zacatecas and San Luis Potosi are the ones that have been placed under level-3 warnings, FOX 5 reported.

But 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.

The advisory underscored the limitations that the USA government faces in providing emergency services in many areas of Mexico because US government employees are prohibited from traveling to those areas. In the USA, it was five.

For Baja California Sur, outlined in yellow - the color code for Level 2 - the State Department suggested travelers "exercise caution in the state capital of La Paz" and said that the state registered its highest homicide rate since 1997. Personal travel by land and to the resort city of Acapulco had already been prohibited. The highest homicide rate in Mexico is in Colima due to the growth of a new cartel, where there are 83.3 killings per 100,000 people.

The MTB said the new system is an improvement based on its organization and simplicity, and noted that the State Department "confirmed that major global tourist destinations in Mexico are safe" and have no travel restrictions.

Other reports by GizPress

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