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State Department Issues Travel Warning For Parts Of Mexico, Including Cancun
September 21 2017, 02:17 | Irvin Gilbert
An aerial view of the resort city of Cancun Mexico. Israel Leal AP file via NBC
"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 US citizens", the warningsaid. This new alert replaces a Travel Warning issued last December.
"Gun battles between rival criminal organizations or with Mexican authorities have taken place on streets and in public places during broad daylight", the advisory from the State Department said.
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.
Some of the tourist areas impacted by the warning include Baja California (Tijuana, Tecate and Mexicali), Baja California Sur (Los Cabos), Guerrero (Acapulco), Jalisco (Guadalajara and Puerto Vallarta) and Quintana Roo (Cancun, Cozumel, Playa del Carmen, Riviera Maya and Tulum).
In Los Cabos, located in Baja California Sur, the department says criminal activity continues to be an issue and the homicide rate is high. Turf battles have resulted in violent crime in areas frequented by US citizens, and shooting incidents have injured or killed innocent bystanders.
The State Department warned that criminals target newer and larger vehicles but drivers of old sedans and buses coming from the United States are also targeted. In Nayarit, which includes the Riviera Nayarit coast, USA government personnel are allowed to travel using major highways, but intercity travel at night is prohibited. In Baja California Sur, which includes Los Cabos, the homicide rate has been on the rise since past year.
Citing Mexican government statistics, the State Department noted on Tuesday that so far 2017 has seen much higher rates of violence in those regions than during the same period a year ago. Travelers are urged to use caution in all areas of Mexico, even if no advisory is in effect for a particular area. The same goes for the states of Hidalgo, Campeche, Tlaxcala, Yucatan, Tabasco, Queretaro, Puebla and Guanajuato. The State Department said US citizens have been the victims of homicide, shootings and kidnapping.