The government of Canada has issued an updated travel advisory for Mexico, warning citizens of potential dangers when travelling south, particularly in the northern border states.
Travelers are urged to “exercise a high degree of caution . . . due to high levels of criminal activity, as well as demonstrations, protests and occasional illegal roadblocks throughout the country.”
In all of the northern states but one, Baja California, citizens are advised to avoid all non-essential travel “due to high levels of violence, linked mainly to organized crime.”
The warning applies to Chihuahua, Coahuila (except Saltillo), Durango, Nuevo León (except Monterrey), Sinaloa (except Mazatlán), Sonora (except Hermosillo and Guaymas-San Carlos) and Tamaulipas.
The document suggests that a high degree of caution should be exercised in cities and towns that are not mentioned in its state-by-state warning.
In a section titled “safety and security,” Canadian citizens are urged to travel to Mexico by air and avoid landing in border cities, emphasizing the recommendation against doing so in the northern states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León, Sonora and Tamaulipas.
“In northern Mexico, particularly along the border with the United States, organized crime and urban violence greatly affect security. Confrontations between organized criminal groups and Mexican authorities continue to pose a problem,” reads the advisory, explaining that “shootouts, attacks and illegal roadblocks may occur without warning.”
The document says all non-essential travel should also be avoided due to the high levels of violence and organized crime in the western states of Guerrero, including Acapulco but excluding Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo and Taxco, and Michoacán, excluding the city of Morelia.
Warnings are also given for Colima, Jalisco and Nayarit due to high levels of criminal activity.
The states of Baja California Sur and Quintana Roo were also mentioned: while organized crime “does not target tourists, violence related to organized crime has been on the rise throughout the country in 2017,” especially in those states.
Concerns over the safety of drinks and food have led to the inclusion of the warning that travelers should “be wary of accepting snacks, beverages, gum or cigarettes from new acquaintances or strangers . . . as the items may contain drugs that could put you at risk of sexual assault and robbery.”