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Saturday 5 November 2022

Stay away: travel warnings issued about the many dangers of Mexico

The most I have ever felt threatened in Mexico was by the smog in Mexico City that made it very difficult to breathe.

Today there are other dangers facing visitors to Mexico - and Americans are being warned not to travel to their southern neighbour.

The US State Department recently updated a travel advisory for Mexico, with a warning on "kidnapping risk".

It cited an increased risk of crime and kidnapping in some areas.

It added specific Level 4 ‘Do Not Travel’ advisories on the states of Colima, Guerrero, Michoacan, Sinaloa, Tamaulipas and Zacatecas over kidnapping threats, Travel Mole reported.

In addition, less severe "reconsider travel" warnings were issued for Baja California, Chihuahua, Durango, Guanajuato, Jalisco, Morelos and Sonora.

“Violent crime - such as homicide, kidnapping, carjacking, and robbery - is widespread and common in Mexico,” the State Department said.

“The government has limited ability to provide emergency services to US citizens in many areas of Mexico” as it has placed restrictions on travel for government employees due to safety risks.

“US government employees may not travel between cities after dark, may not hail taxis on the street, and must rely on dispatched vehicles, including app-based services like Uber, and regulated taxi stands,” the advisory said.

“Transnational criminal organizations compete in the border area to establish narco-trafficking and human smuggling routes,” the State Department added.

“Most homicides appeared to be targeted; however, criminal organization assassinations and territorial disputes can result in bystanders being injured or killed, “which has led to tourist injuries and deaths in resorts."

The Australian SmartTraveller advice is equally blunt, saying: "We now advise you exercise a high degree of caution due to high levels of violent crime."

It also advises: "Avoid protests and large public gatherings. These can become violent. It's also against the law for foreigners to participate in political activity."

Other advice: "Mexico has a high risk of violent crime, such as murder, armed robbery, sexual assault and kidnapping. Don't travel at night outside major cities. Kidnapping and extortion are serious risks. Don't draw attention to your money or business affairs. Only use ATMs in public spaces and during daytime. Drug-related violence is widespread. Stop at all roadblocks or you risk being killed."

You can just imagine the apoplectic reaction of Mexican tourism industry officials.  


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