The United States government has issued a new travel warning for Mexico, this time urging travelers to avoid casinos and other gambling facilities.
The State Department advises that 21 of Mexico’s states are risky places to visit, and in 10 of those travelers should not visit casinos and other adult entertainment centers and establishments.
It warns kidnappings and deaths of U.S. citizens have increased in the last two years. There were more than 130 cases of kidnapping reported between January and November 2014, and the number of murders rose from 81 in 2013 to 100 in 2014.
The advisory indicated that the Mexican government has been taking steps to protect visiting foreigners, and that there is no evidence that organized crime groups are attacking tourists on the basis of their nationality. But travelers are warned that efforts to combat crime have resulted in an increase in the number of confrontations between authorities and criminals.
More of those confrontations are being seen during daylight hours, the State Department said, and urged visitors to keep a low profile and avoid showing signs of wealth, such as expensive-looking jewelry, watches or cameras.
As well as gun battles in many towns and cities, which in some cases have prevented American citizens from leaving an area, criminal organizations have created roadblocks on major highways. Deferring travel to certain areas is recommended as is using extreme caution in others where advisories are in effect, says the warning.
Carjacking is also highlighted as a potential danger for motorists and is seen as a serious problem in many part of the border region, where U.S. citizens have been murdered. Victims who comply with carjackers’ demands have reported they were not harmed, while those who have attempted to flee have been shot at by thieves.
Such thefts are frequently attempted at night and on isolated roads.
Demonstrations are another source of concern for the State Department, which says they are common in all parts of the country, but can become confrontational and lead to violence, and should therefore be avoided.
The travel warning replaces the previous one, issued on December 24.
Mexico News Daily