Murder in Mexico: U.S. State Department Expands Travel Advisory following Killings

August 24, 2017
By: Mike McPadden

Photo by: Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons

MEXICO CITY, MEXICO — The U.S. State Department expanded its travel advisories Tuesday to warn of dangers in parts of Mexico, including many popular resort towns, that had not been previously covered by such alerts.

The new travel advisory covered the state of Quintana Roo — which includes Cancún, Tulum, and several popular tourist destinations — and stated that “turf battles between criminal groups have resulted in violent crime in areas frequented by U.S. citizens.”

U.S. citizens have been the victims of violent crimes, including homicide, kidnapping, carjacking, and robbery in various Mexican states,” the advisory, which replaced the travel warning for Mexico issued in December 2016, read.

Warnings have also been extended to the Gulf coast state of Veracruz and the southern state of Chiapas. In Chiapas, the department said, “U.S. government personnel must remain in tourist areas and are not allowed to use public transportation.” Chiapas is home to iconic historical destinations including Mayan ruin sites.

The warnings for Baja California Sur state, which had previously mentioned the capital La Paz, were changed to reflect violence occurring throughout the state. This includes Los Cabos and the beaches and resorts in Cabo San Lucas, which are very popular with celebrities.

In June, two severed heads were found near the tourist zone in Cabo San Lucas.

Gun battles between rival criminal organizations or with Mexican authorities have taken place on streets and in public places during broad daylight,” the advisory read.

Though the State Department pointed out that “resort areas and tourist destinations in Mexico generally do not see the level of drug-related violence and crime that are reported in the border region or in areas along major trafficking routes,” the organization stated that “as a result of security precautions that U.S. government personnel must take while traveling to parts of Mexico, our response time to emergencies involving U.S. citizens may be hampered or delayed.”