The United States is warning travellers to completely avoid travel to six Mexican states due to increasing violent crime and kidnapping.
The U.S. Department of State now advises travellers to avoid all travel to Colima state, Guerrero state, Michoacan state, Sinaloa state, Tamaulipas state , and Zacatecas.
Travellers are also advised to reconsider travel to six Mexican states and exercise increased caution in 17 others, including the Quintana Roo state that houses popular tourist destinations like Cancun and Tulum.
The updated travel advice follows months of increasing violence across Mexico, including a violent clash between taxi and Uber drivers and two planes that were hit with gunfire in Sinaloa state after security forces captured Ovidio "The Mouse" Guzman -- an alleged drug trafficker and the son of former cartel boss Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman.
Unlike Canada, which issues travel risk advisories for entire countries rather than individual states or regions, the U.S. issues travel risk advisories for each individual state. However, it also notes that "violent crime -- including homicide, kidnapping, carjacking, and robbery -- is widespread and common" across the entire country.
Canada weighs in on the updated U.S. travel advisory for Mexico
Canada currently warns travellers to exercise a high degree of caution in Mexico "due to high levels of criminal activity and kidnapping" but does not advise them to avoid all travel to any areas.
Travellers are instead advised to avoid "all non-essential travel" to 13 areas across the country due to violence and organized crime.
When asked why Canada hasn't followed the U.S. to upgrade its advisory to warn travellers to avoid all travel to certain areas, a spokesperson for Global Affairs Canada told V.I.A. in an email that "there is no strict formula to determine the level of a country or region" and that the risk level is based on an "overall assessment of the current security situation."
Notably, the United States has now advised against all travel to Sinaloa state, which includes the popular resort town of Mazatlán. Canada continues to warn travellers to avoid all non-essential travel to the state with the exception of the popular vacation destination.
Canadians should always register trips that they take online with the Canadian government before they leave so that the government can contact them in an emergency.
Canadians in need of emergency consular assistance should contact Global Affairs Canada's Emergency Watch and Response Centre by calling 001-800-514-0129 (toll-free from Mexico only), +1 613 996 8885, by text message at +1 613-686-3658, via WhatsApp at +1 613-909-8881, via Telegram at Canada Emergency Abroad or by e-mail.
Travellers who smoke should also be aware Mexico recently introduced of a law that affects them. The Mexico smoking ban forbids smoking in any public area and the penalties for breaking the law may be more strictly enforced than in Canada.