Tourists on the beach in La Paz. Tourists on the beach in La Paz.

Baja happy with alert, others not so much

Acapulco mayor, Durango governor unhappy about US travel warning

The new travel alert for Mexico issued by the U.S. Department of State Wednesday has been met with a mixed response from federal, state and local politicians.


The new warning coincided with the introduction of a four-tier system with advisories ranging from Level 1: Exercise normal precautions to Level 4: Do not travel.

Five Mexican states were placed at the latter level on a par with war-torn countries such as Syria and Yemen, while 11 received the designation Level 3: Reconsider travel. That means half of Mexico’s states are now under the two most serious warning levels.

The remaining states and the country as a whole were placed in the Level 2: Exercise increased caution category.

The governor of Baja California Sur, Carlos Mendoza Davis, celebrated the state’s Level 2 advisory by saying in a press release that it represented an achievement for his administration even though the designation states criminal activity and violence remain an issue throughout the state.

“The steps that we have taken as a state government made it possible to specify the situation that our destinations are going through, which contributed to the Department of State excluding the Baja California Sur destinations from its travel alert,” the statement said.

The new alert specifies that there are no U.S. government restrictions for travel in the state including the popular tourist destinations of Los Cabos and La Paz.


Tourist destinations in Quintana Roo, including Cancún and Playa del Carmen, are also no longer subject to any restrictions in the updated advisory.

Acapulco wasn’t so lucky.

The mayor of the city, which along with the state of Guerrero received a Level 4 advisory, described the U.S. advisory as “unfair” because the Pacific coast city wasn’t afforded the same designation as its resort city rivals.

“I think that there is a lack of criteria because it’s not possible that they lift the alert that Los Cabos and Cancún had [and not here]. Similar things have happened in Los Cabos and the ruling for the United States diplomats in Mexico seems completely unfair to me. There should be a level playing field for everyone,” Evodio Velázquez said.

The new advisory states that “armed groups operate independently of the government in many areas of Guerrero . . . and may use violence towards travelers” and that “U.S. government employees are prohibited from travel to the entire state of Guerrero, including Acapulco.”

But Velázquez said that Acapulco should not be compared to the rest of the state and highlighted the city’s recent record on tourist safety.

“. . . In the past two years, no incident has occurred against domestic or foreign travelers. Although we’ve already had the alert for several months, the international flights from the U.S. and Canada keep arriving. Volaris recently started a Los Angeles–Acapulco route and it’s going well,” he said.

The governor of Durango also believes that the updated U.S. advisory, as well as one issued by Canada last week, represent an exaggeration that doesn’t match the reality on the ground.

The northern state was placed at Level 3 while the Canadian alert urged travelers to avoid all non-essential travel to Durango.

“It’s illogical that there are these kinds of designations from the United States and Canadian governments, when Durango is one of the states where not just high-impact crimes, but also ordinary crimes, went down in 2017,” José Rosas Aispuro said.

The state’s inclusion with Sinaloa and Chihuahua in the drug-growing region dubbed the Golden Triangle makes U.S. and Canadian authorities think the state is unsafe when it is not, he added.

Federal Tourism Secretary Enrique de la Madrid also responded to the updated alert.

In an interview with broadcaster Televisa, de la Madrid said that “there is no country that has zero risks” and that the U.S. Department of State has a legal obligation to issue the alerts.

However, the secretary told Ana Paula Ordorica of Foro TV that he felt “satisfied” that there are no restrictions in the new system for Cancún, Riviera Maya, Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta, Riviera Nayarit and Mexico City.

Source: El Universal (sp), El Economista (sp), La Neta Noticias (sp), Televisa (sp)

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  • Jay

    Carlos Mendoza Davis: come here, spend your money…so sorry that you have to step over the bodies…enjoy!

    • Patricia Green

      But don’t go to Las Vegas, the shooting of 500 people and death of 59 speaks volumes about Nevada. Don’t go to any state with schools – all the school shootings speak volumes about those states. Don’t go to church, the shootings of people in churches speak volumes about those states. I live in Colima – one of the states mentioned by the State Department. It is not a war zone. As with anywhere in the world, there are places you don’t go. There are places in the U.S. where it is not safe to go. Trump even expounded on places in the U.S. where he said “The people there are living in HELL” His state of the union speech made the U.S. sound like a dystopian hellish landscape. . Frankly, hearing about all the violence and shootings in the U.S. and the Hell the president states that the U.S. is, I feel safer living here in Mexico.

      • Pesobill

        Keep drinking your cool aid and the murder rate of Mexico is 6 times higher than the USA. Don’t know what ghetto you lived in in the states but you just stay there. The murders are real but some gringos live in a parallel universe thinking nothing bad will happen to them.. What a crock. I have lived in different countries and states and Mexico was the only place I knew people that were murdered.. Enjoy your murder capital.

        • Patricia Green

          And enjoy all the thoughts and prayers and platitudes of “That’s the price of freedom” every time there’s a mass shooting or a bunch of little kids get murdered because the legislators don’t value your life, they only pretend to when something happens.

          • BB

            I stopped going anywhere there are large crowds.

  • Kool

    As a failed states crumble the tourist industry always goes down the toilet.

  • alance

    Regardless of what you read, this is the result of the war on drugs run amok.

  • Mac

    I always found that when the USA tells me not to go someplace, it is the exact time to go. The politics in America is corrupting any sense of reality.

    • Pesobill

      Yeah suuuuuuure.. The murders and mayhem are a figment of our American political system? Dream on.. Lived there for years and the murders and death are real. They can have that ghetto.

  • kallen

    The murder rate is much higher than the US, Canada and UK can imagine. The whole country should be grateful they have any tourism at all. I know in Los Barriles, BCS there are murders that are hushed over – most gringos don’t even know about them but the locals will tell you. It may still come to pass that tourism dries up and puts the country in an economic tailspin.