'Do Not Travel' Advisory Issued for Parts of Mexico
12 Enero, 2018, 03:28 | Author: Kelly Blake
Colima, Guerrero, Michoacán, Sinaloa and Tamaulipas have all been classified as a level-four risk, the highest in the scale.
The State Department has assigned level 2 rating ("exercise increased caution") to the states of Baja California and Baja California Sur, both of which have seen sharp increases in homicides and turf battles between criminal groups in the previous year.
All are known hotspots of drug cartel activity, either hosting trafficking routes or extensive drug-crop cultivation.
The advisories cite drug cartel activity and violent crime, and the Tamaulipas warning was very blunt. Michoacan was so dominated by a drug cartel that vigilantes took up arms in 2013 to drive them out.
Los Angeles Times reports that the advisory is the proof of the surging violence in Mexico, which has claimed almost 22,409 lives in 2017 - more than any year since 1997 when the government start releasing crime data.
In Wednesday's revamp, an additional 11 Mexican states got a level 3 warning, which urges people to "reconsider travel" there.
The border states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo Leon and Sonora as well as Durango, Zacatecas and San Luis Potosi are the ones that have been placed under level-3 warnings, FOX 5 reported.
"It's significant that the five tourist destinations that account for 80% of foreign tourist travel to Mexico (Cancún, Riviera Maya, Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta-Riviera Nayarit and Mexico City) were not classified with restrictions for global travelers by the State Department", the statement said.
Mexico as a whole has a level-two rating, "exercise increased caution" in the new four-level alert system, because of concerns about crime.
The latest advisory threatens to further hurt Mexican tourism, a $20 billion industry accounting for about 7% of the country's GDP.
Worldwide, the new advisories will also include up to seven indicators created to clarify reasons for the warnings: C for crime, T for terrorism, U for civil unrest, H for health, N for natural disasters (and the aftermath), E for time-limited events (like elections) and O for other.
While not addressing the latest warnings directly, the government's Mexico Tourism Board said in a statement that "Mexico's major global tourism destinations have been explicitly listed as having no travel restrictions", apparently a reference to major resorts like Cancun, Puerto Vallarta and Huatulco.
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