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USA issues 'do not travel' advisory for 5 states in Mexico
12 January 2018, 12:24 | Terri Saunders
US warns against traveling to 5 Mexican states
Five states in Mexico have gotten the sternest "do not travel" advisories under a revamped U.S. State Department system unveiled Wednesday.
The advisory tells Americans "do not travel" to the five Mexican coastal states of Sinaloa, Colima, Michoacán, Guerrero, and Tamaulipas.
Overall, the country received a Level 2 rating, which urges Americans to "exercise increased caution" and notes that "violent crime, such as homicide, kidnapping, carjacking, and robbery, is widespread".
"As it pertains to this updated travel advisory for Mexico, the U.S. Department of State advises to "Reconsider Travel" to select Mexican states, but then exempts the tourist destinations within those states". But the travel advisory said there are "no restrictions on USA government employees for stays in".
A huge part of northern Mexico, including the border states of Coahuila, Chihuahua, Nuevo Leon and Sonora among others, was under level 3 warnings.
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Clashes between rival drug gangs contributed to a record number of murders in Mexico past year, according to official data, dealing a fresh blow to President Enrique Pena Nieto's pledge to bring gang violence under control with presidential elections due in July 2018.
The state department has discouraged a visit to these states previously warning citizens about traveling to Los Cabos and Cancun last summer after six dead bodies were hung from bridges near the Mexican tourist resort. This is the area where the popular twin resorts of Los Cabos are located. However, despite the cartel activities, Los Cabos saw 16 percent increase in tourism arrivals and an 18 percent rise in hotel occupancy in 2017, reports said, citing Rodrigo Esponda, managing director of the Los Cabos Tourism Board.
"According to the updated travel advisory for Mexico and specific mentions for Mexican states and major cities, Mexico's major worldwide tourist destinations have been explicitly listed as having no travel restrictions or they exist in states where there are no special travel advisories for tourists".
However, at least two Mexican resorts - Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo and Acapulco - are in a do-not-travel state, Guerrero, and past year, the State Department extended a total ban on personal travel by US government personnel there.
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