US Dept. of State issues travel warning for Mexico

Mexican federal police patrol a beach in Cancun earlier this year after a shooting shook a local nightclub the day before

Mexican federal police patrol a beach in Cancun earlier this year after a shooting shook a local nightclub the day before

Travelers should be mindful that even if no advisories are in effect for a given state, USA citizens should exercise caution throughout Mexico as crime and violence can still occur, the State Department warns.

In Los Cabos, located in Baja California Sur, the department says criminal activity continues to be an issue and the homicide rate is high. The advisory came after a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel investigation into the death of a 20-year-old Wisconsin student who blacked out and died in a pool at a resort near Playa del Carmen after drinking.

USA citizens have been the victims of violent crimes including homicide, kidnapping, carjacking and robbery, said State Department officials. Most are said to be between rival criminal gangs, but innocent bystanders have been killed in shootings. This new alert replaces a Travel Warning issued last December.

The Mexican government has deployed federal police and military personnel throughout the country as part of its efforts to combat organized criminal groups. It also said there is no evidence that Americans are being targeted due to their nationality and that resort areas and tourist destinations generally do not see a high level of drug-related violence and crime compared to border regions or areas along major trafficking routes.

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The department does say that there is no indication that any Americans have been targeted simply for being American.

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.

Hotel occupancy in Cancun, Playa del Carmen and surrounding resorts rose to 78.6 percent in the year through July from 75.1 percent in the year-earlier period, according to STR, a provider of data and analytics on the lodging industry. U.S. Government officials are not allowed to drive to or from the border from inside Mexico during the warning; cell phone use is limited, especially in remote areas, and carjackings are often violent, if not fatal.

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