Mexico is a popular travel destination known for its rich culture, stunning beaches, and delicious cuisine. However, concerns about safety have been raised in recent kidnapping and murder of US travelers, leading travelers to reconsider their plans. In this article, we will discuss the current situation in Mexico, travel warnings, and tips on how to stay safe while traveling there.
Mexico has been grappling with high levels of crime, including drug-related violence and kidnapping. The recent kidnapping and murder of US travelers in Matamoros, Mexico, has brought attention to the issue of violence in the country. With spring break underway in beach resorts, travelers are considering the safety of their trips.
The US State Department has "do not travel" advisories in place for six of Mexico's 32 states, including Tamaulipas, Sinaloa, Guerrero. Playa del Carmen, and Cancún. Seven states are listed under "reconsider travel", and 17 under "exercise increased caution." (see map below). The reason for the warnings is listed as either "crime" or "crime and kidnapping." Canada and the United Kingdom also have travel warnings related to Mexico.
The State Department advises travelers in the state of Quintana Roo, where popular destinations like Cancun and Playa del Carmen are located, to "exercise increased caution due to crime and kidnapping." However, it is considered relatively safe for travelers to visit tourist destinations and major cities like Mexico City, Guadalajara, and Monterrey. Security expert Jaime Lopez-Aranda says travelers should maintain a high level of situational awareness and avoid areas with illicit activities.
Precautions and Planning
For travel in Mexico, it is recommended to take the following precautions:
• Traveling with a trusted driver in a private vehicle
• Traveling only in daylight hours outside urban centers or in higher-risk locations
• Avoiding trouble spots in major cities
• Avoiding traveling alone
• Staying up-to-date through news and government alerts
• Making sure your mobile device is charged
Another important consideration is travel insurance. It is always a good idea to have comprehensive travel insurance in case of an emergency, such as theft, illness, or accidents. This can provide peace of mind and help you feel secure while you are traveling.
Trust Your Gut
Lopez-Aranda advises that if you feel uncomfortable, try to get away from the situation or environment immediately, as intuition is often right. Other precautions travelers can take to avoid pickpocketing or robbery is using ATMs only in secure locations, and not wearing expensive jewelry.
This is the landscape of travel advisories to Mexico
Six out of 32 states in Mexico have a "do not travel" recommendation from the US State Department, including Tamaulipas, Sinaloa and Guerrero. Playa del Carmen and Cancún, which are welcoming an influx of spring break travelers, are located in the state of Quintana Roo, where the State Department advises travelers to “exercise increased caution due to crime and kidnapping.”
For additional information about traveling to Mexico, check this article by CNN.
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