US Warns Cancun Travelers of Rise in Homicides at Resorts

The reason? Officials are concerned about increasingly risky activities of criminal organization in the areas, especially along the Caribbean coast. This new warning replaces a travel warning that was issued for the country on December 8, 2016.

Quintana Roo includes resort towns like Cancun, Cozumel, Playa del Carmen, Tulum, and Riviera Maya.

"While most of these homicides appeared to be targeted criminal organization assassinations, turf battles between criminal groups have resulted in violent crime in areas frequented by US citizens", the department writes of both states, as well as of Baja California.

Quintana Roo's public security secretary Rodolfo del Angel Campos said the state had been "very prompt" in addressing security in tourist areas. Innocent bystanders have been injured or killed in shootings, the department says. It also said there is no evidence that Americans are being targeted due to their nationality and that resort areas and tourist destinations generally do not see a high level of drug-related violence and crime compared to border regions or areas along major trafficking routes. The Gulf Coast state of Veracruz and southern state of Chiapas are also new additions. In Baja California Sur, which includes Los Cabos, the homicide rate has been on the rise since previous year. In Nayarit, which includes the Riviera Nayarit coast, USA government personnel are allowed to travel using major highways, but intercity travel at night is prohibited.

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"Exercise caution as Baja California Sur continues to experience a high rate of homicides", officials warned. The State Department also warned that USA citizens have been murdered in carjackings and highway robberies, with victims stopped by roadblocks or being run off the road.

Citing Mexican government statistics, the State Department noted on Tuesday that so far 2017 has seen much higher rates of violence in those regions than during the same period previous year.

Mexico City remains without an advisory.


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