One of the world’s top vacation destinations is experiencing heightened risks when it comes to traveling abroad.
The State Department has issued new “do not travel” advisories for five Mexico states following surges in gang-related violent crime. Advising to avoid the areas of Colima, Guerrero, Michoacán, Sinaloa, and Tamaulipas. U.S. government employees are forbidden from traveling to those states due to “widespread violent crime.”
Up to this point, these coastal areas were mostly sheltered from the drug war violence. But it’s now creeping across the nation, making 2017 one of the deadliest years in Mexico yet.
Travelers heading to those areas are also being cautioned of car jackings, highway robbery, and kidnapping. Victims abducted and held captive for ransom is one kind of kidnapping. But warnings also include “express” kidnapping when victim is forced to withdraw money from an ATM or “virtual” kidnapping when victim is coerced to provide contact information of loved ones.
Tourists also need to be aware of numerous reports of allegedly tainted alcohol at some resorts. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinelreports travelers experiencing sickness, blackouts and injuries after drinking at Iberostar Hotel & Resorts’ Paraiso del Mar and other resorts around Cancun and Playa del Carmen in recent months.
The advisory emphasizes there is no evidence that U.S. citizens are being targeted. It also states that Mexico prioritizes protection of visitors and tourist destinations with extensive safety measures in place.