Why the United States issued new travel warnings for Mexico

Why the United States issued new travel warnings for Mexico

Why the United States issued new travel warnings for Mexico

The travel warning issued Tuesday added several regions that had been previously thought to be relatively sheltered from the country's gang violence.

Each year 10 million tourists visit Quintana Roo, the state where Cancun is located.

"While most of these homicides appeared to be targeted, criminal organization assassinations, turf battles between criminal groups have resulted in violent crime in areas frequented by USA citizens", the warning continued. The officials also say that gun battles between rival Mexican criminal organizations have taken place on the streets and in public places in broad daylight.

Mexico is also seeing virtual kidnappings, an extortion-by-deception scheme where victims are hotel guests, contacted by phone and threatened into giving phone numbers for friends & family, and then isolated until a ransom is paid.

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.

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"Shooting incidents, in which innocent bystanders have been injured or killed, have occurred" in both states, the warning said. There is no evidence that criminal organizations have targeted USA citizens based on their nationality. In Quintana Roo - which includes the tourist destinations of Cancun, Cozumel, Playa del Carmen and Riviera Maya - there has been an increase in homicide rates.

The warning followed another USA advisory that tainted alcohol at resorts in Mexico may be linked to numerous reports of death, blackouts, injuries and illnesses among American tourists.

At the same time, the State Department says that resort areas and tourist destinations in Mexico generally do not see the level of drug-related violence and crime that is present in the border region or along major trafficking routes.

In some areas, travel is banned at night and in specific areas. Travelers are urged to use caution in all areas of Mexico, even if no advisory is in effect for a particular area.

Mexico City remains without an advisory.

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