The U.S. Department of State warns travellers about increased levels of violence in Mexico and has recently updated its advisory.
Issued on Wednesday (Aug. 17), the updated travel advisory states that violent crime, including homicide, kidnapping, carjacking, and robbery, is widespread and common in Mexico.
Additionally, the U.S. government warns that it has a "limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in many areas of Mexico."
Travellers are advised not to travel after dark, alone (particularly in remote areas), or hail taxis on the street. Instead, they should use regulated taxi stands or dispatched vehicle services such as Uber.
Travellers should also not drive from the "U.S.-Mexico border to or from the interior parts of Mexico, except daytime travel within Baja California and between Nogales and Hermosillo on Mexican Federal Highway 15D, and between Nuevo Laredo and Monterrey on Highway 85D."
Mexico travel advisory includes six states "not to travel to"
The U.S. Department of State advises travellers to completely avoid travel to the six states, mostly due to rising levels of crime and kidnapping: Colima, Guerrero, Michoacán, Sinaloa, Tamaulipas, and Zacatecas.
Travellers are advised to reconsider travel to Baja California, Chihuahua , Durango, Guanajuato, Guanajuato, Morelos, and Sonora, primarly due to increased levels of crime and kidnapping.
Travellers should exercise Increased caution when travelling to the following states:
- Aguascalientes state due to crime.
- Baja California Sur state due to crime.
- Chiapas state due to crime.
- Coahuila state due to crime.
- Hidalgo state due to crime.
- Mexico City due to crime.
- Mexico State due to crime.
- Nayarit state due to crime.
- Nuevo Leon state due to crime and kidnapping.
- Oaxaca state due to crime.
- Puebla state due to crime and kidnapping.
- Queretaro state due to crime.
- Quintana Roo state due to crime and kidnapping.
- San Luis Potosi state due to crime and kidnapping.
- Tabasco state due to crime.
- Tlaxcala state due to crime.
- Veracruz state due to crime.
Only two states are listed as ones where travellers may follow "normal precautions": Campeche and Yucatan.
Mexico violence prompts updated advisory for vacationers
Mexico's powerful drug cartels commonly use local gangs to defend their territory and carry out their vendettas.
Quintara Roo state contains the most frequented tourist areas, including the Mayan Riveria hotel zones like Cancún, and has been included in the list of states to exercise increased caution.
According to the advisory, criminal activity and violence may occur in popular tourist areas. As such, travellers should stay aware of their surroundings and avoid areas where criminal activities occur. If a situation evolves into something potentially dangerous, they should immediately leave.
Tourists from Canada and the United States have been victims of kidnappings. They have also been caught in the crossfire of shootings between rival gangs.
The Canadian government also advises travellers to exercise a high degree of caution in Mexico due to increased criminal activity and kidnapping.
With a file from the Canadian Press.