After two Americans killed in kidnapping, U.S. issues travel advisory for Mexico
AAA said travelers would most likely visit Cancun, Mexico City or Riviera Maya, which are regions covered by “Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution When Traveling To” warnings.
Spring break is in full swing, and the United States is advising against traveling to Mexico in light of the kidnapping of four Americans.
The U.S. State Department and Texas’ Department of Public Safety are warning Americans to forgo spring break trips to Mexico due to the ongoing violence that severely threatens their safety, according to CBS News.
“Drug cartel violence and other criminal activity represent a significant safety threat to anyone who crosses into Mexico right now,” TxDPS Director Steven McCraw said Friday, citing a duty to “inform the public about safety, travel risks and threats,” CBS News reported.
The four Americans — Zindell Brown, Shaeed Woodard, Eric Williams and Latavia McGee — had traveled to Mexico in a minivan with North Carolina license plates to seek healthcare when they were caught in a deadly shootout, theGrio previously reported.
Video of the incident showed heavily armed men abducting the group, throwing them into the back of a pickup truck. Brown and Woodard died in the attack, while Williams and McGee survived.
“Based on the volatile nature of cartel activity and the violence we are seeing there,” McCraw warned, “we are urging individuals to avoid travel to Mexico at this time.”
The Mexican state of Tamaulipas, where cartel members took the Americans hostage, has a “Level 4: Do Not Travel” warning from the State Department.
Colima, Guerrero, Michoacán, Sinaloa and Zacatecas are also included in the Level 4 alert. The Mexican states of Baja California, Durango, Jalisco, Chihuahua, Guanajuato, Sonora and Morelos are in the State Department’s “Level 3: Reconsider Travel” advisory.
AAA said travelers prefer a beach vacation and would most likely visit Cancun, Mexico City or Riviera Maya, regions covered by “Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution When Traveling To” bulletins, according to CBS.
People should also be cautious of crime in the downtown areas of Playa Del Carmen, Cancun and Tulum — particularly after nightfall.
For those who visit Mexico, the State Department advises exercising caution when consuming libations, as Americans have allegedly fallen unconscious and suffered injuries after ingesting potentially contaminated beverages.
Due to the prevalence of counterfeit medications that may be ineffective, have the wrong dosage or contain harmful ingredients, caution is also recommended when buying prescription drugs.
“Violent crime – such as homicide, kidnapping, carjacking, and robbery – is widespread and common in Mexico,” the State Department warned, CBS reported.
The agency noted that the U.S. government has limited capacity in many parts of Mexico to provide emergency assistance to American citizens because “travel by U.S. government employees to certain areas is prohibited or restricted,” and in several states, “local emergency services are limited outside the state capital or major cities.”
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