US "Do Not Travel" Advisory: Five Mexican States Now on the Same Level As Syria
Following the State Department’s recent travel advisory posted Wednesday, US citizens are warned not to travel to five Mexican states. These states include Tamaulipas, Sinaloa, Colima, Michoacán, and Guerrero. Of the five states listed, all have been assigned level 4 warnings, which indicates “do not travel.”
The US Government urges American citizens to “completely avoid” the five Mexican states “plagued by crime and drug cartel violence” as they are now considered to be on the same level as war-zones such as Syria, Yemen, and Afghanistan.
In a statement by Mexico's Tourism Ministry, they noted that more than 28 of its most popular tourist destinations have no restrictions: “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 international travelers by the State Department.”
However, half of the country’s 31 states have been designated as level 3, meaning “reconsider travel,” or level 4 warnings. In fact, the country as a whole has been assigned a level 2, meaning “exercise increased caution.”
Even Acapulco, a once dream destination, is now too often the scene of crime and protests. The resort town now has one of the highest murder rates in the country. Located in the state of Guerrero (level 4 warning), Acapulco has been struggling to shed its violent image, and the entire state is suffering from drug-related violence. An estimated 80% of the states GDP comes from tourism.
Preliminary statistics on murder in Mexico last year revealed it was the deadliest year in the country’s history. A record 23,101 murder investigations opened, in keeping with the advisory warning that “violent crime, such as homicide, kidnapping, carjacking, and robbery, is widespread.”
Though this advisory will certainly have a profound and harmful effect on Mexico’s economy, and on American views of the country as a whole, it seems imperative for American citizens to take necessary precautions when travelling, as crime has been spreading to tourist destinations, like Acapulco and even the infamous American spring break destination, Los Cabos.