Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico - The U.S. State Department has issued an updated travel warning for Mexico, warning of the risk of traveling to certain parts of the country due to criminal activities.
The travel warning points out that most resort areas and tourist destinations in Mexico generally do not see the level of drug-related violence and crime that is present in the border region or along major trafficking routes, and that there is no evidence that criminal organizations have targeted U.S. citizens based on their nationality.
In Jalisco, home to the popular tourist destinations of Puerto Vallarta and Guadalajara, the State Department is only asking U.S. citizens to defer non-essential travel to areas that border the states of Michoacan and Zacatecas due to continued instability.
In Nayarit, which includes Nuevo Vallarta, Punta Mita, and other fashionable destinations along the Riviera Nayarit coast, the only restriction is on U.S. government personnel, who are allowed daytime travel on major highways throughout the state, but intercity travel at night is prohibited.
At the same time, the State Department's state-by-state assessment of the security situation in Mexico does include some popular travel areas, like Cancun and Los Cabos.
In Baja California Sur, home to Los Cabos, the homicide rate has been on the rise since last year. While most homicides appeared to be assassinations by criminal organizations, turf battles have resulted in violent crime in areas frequented by U.S. citizens.
Cancun has seen several deadly gang shoot outs over the past few months, including one in a holiday resort where three taxi drivers died in a nightclub shootout. The attack followed another shootout at an electronic dance music festival in January where five security personnel were killed by a lone gunman. "Events are happening that weren't common in this city," Darwin Puc Acosta, the police chief of Cancun, told Bloomberg. "I sincerely don't consider them alarming. They’re situations that can be resolved if they’re attended to properly. And that's what we're doing."
Earlier this month the State Department also updated its Safety and Security information on Mexico to reflect allegations of travelers falling ill after consuming alcohol at Mexico resorts. While not an official travel warning, in the Safety and Security section of its Mexico country page the State Department advised travelers to drink in moderation and seek medical attention if they feel ill. Later, a test by the government of Mexico found no indication of tainted alcohol at the Iberostar Paraiso del Mar, one of the resorts cited in the reports.
The full travel warning update, including a state-by-state assessment, can be read HERE.Sources: US State Department • Travel Agent Central