The U.S. State Department on Wednesday issued an updated Travel Advisory for U.S. travelers visiting Mexico, including new state-level advisories and “risk of kidnapping” information.
The agency cited an “increased risk of crime and kidnapping” in certain areas of Mexico.
A State Department spokesperson told USA TODAY in an email that the agency regularly reviews all Travel Advisories to ensure that American citizens have the most appropriate and timely information to make the most informed decisions about safety and security. theirs when traveling abroad.
Last week, the State Department issued an alert to US citizens when reports of “multiple vehicle fires, road blockades and heavy police activity” emerged in Tijuana and the surrounding area. At a news conference Monday, Department spokesman Ned Price said he had no reports to share of any U.S. citizens injured or killed in the incident.
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The updated travel advisory includes new information on the states of Coahuila, Mexico, Nayarit and Zacatecas. Travelers should “exercise extra caution when traveling to” Coahuila, Mexico and Nayarit and “not travel to” Zacatecas.
The states of Colima, Michoacan, Sinaloa, Tamaulipas, Zacatecas, Baja California, Chihuahua, Guanajuato, Jalisco, Sonora, Nuevo Leon, Puebla, Quintana Roo and San Luis Potosi have also been updated.
According to the advisory, “U.S. citizens are advised to adhere to restrictions on travel by U.S. government employees.” Some restrictions include not hailing taxis from the street, but using a shared ride service like Uber or regulated taxi stands, and not traveling alone.
If a U.S. citizen still decides to travel to a Mexican country with a Level 4, or “do not travel to,” Travel Advisory or Level 3, “reconsider travel to,” Travel Advisory, he or she is urged to read the State Department’s information on high risk travel.
Aileen Teague, assistant professor at the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University, reminds people that while organized crime exists in parts of northeastern Mexico, there are also “beautiful places that depend on tourism and are relatively safe.”
“Take care when traveling in Mexico as you would any other country, but also don’t let some of these media headlines of violence and criminality undermine the wonderful things Mexico has to offer and its rich history,” she said. “It’s a shame that people only focus on the crime and violence aspect that happens.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also designated Mexico as Level 3, or High, for COVID-19.
Earlier this year, Americans were warned to “avoid travel to Mexico” following recent security incidents in tourist destinations such as Cancun and Playa Del Carmen. The entire list of state-level advisories can be found online.