State Department Confirms Mexican Tourism Safety

State Department Confirms Mexican Tourism Safety

State Department Confirms Mexican Tourism Safety

The U.S. Department of State issued a new "do not travel" advisory Wednesday that put 5 states of Mexico in the same category as countries like Syria, Somalia and Afghanistan.

"Violent crime, such as homicide, kidnapping, carjacking, and robbery, is widespread", the advisory said.

The latest classifications place half of Mexico's 31 states under Level 3 or 4 warnings.

The five states are Tamaulipas on the US border and Sinaloa, Colima, Michoacan and Guerrero on the Pacific coast.

Overall, Mexico has a "level two" warning, which asks Americans to "exercise increased caution".

The advisories named five states on its level four warning, which is the most unsafe warning that can be issued.

In Jalisco, a Level 3 state that is home to Guadalajara and the Puerto Vallarta resort, there are no stay restrictions on USA government employees.

The advisory adds that "there are no US government restrictions in tourist areas in Baja California, which includes: Ensenada, Rosarito and Tijuana".

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Most of northern Mexico, including the border states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo Leon and Sonora as well as Durango, Zacatecas and San Luis Potosi, are under level 3 warnings.

Clashes between rival drug gangs contributed to a record number of murders in Mexico previous year, according to official data, dealing a fresh blow to President Enrique Pena Nieto's pledge to bring gang violence under control with presidential elections due in July 2018.

The government's Mexico Tourism Board said in a statement reported by Fox News, "Mexico's major worldwide tourism destinations have been explicitly listed as having no travel restrictions".

The advisory delivered a stark reminder of the formerly ritzy seaside resort city Acapulco fall from grace.

For Baja California Sur, outlined in yellow - the color code for Level 2 - the State Department suggested travelers "exercise caution in the state capital of La Paz" and said that the state registered its highest homicide rate since 1997.

Rising levels of violence have not so far affected Los Cabos, which saw a 16 percent increase in tourism arrivals and an 18 percent rise in hotel occupancy in 2017, said Rodrigo Esponda, managing director of the Los Cabos Tourism Board.

This is an improvement for Quintana Roo, as the State Department last summer issued a travel warning for the state due to "turf battles between criminal groups that have resulted in violent crime in areas frequented by USA citizens".

"I'm guessing they are breathing a sigh of relief", he said.

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