Wednesday, December 6, 2023

US raises travel alert level for 2 states, lowers it for 4

The United States raised its travel alerts Thursday for two Mexican states and downgraded them for four others.

The Department of State increased its warnings for Baja California and Guanajuato from Level 2 “Exercise increased caution” to Level 3 “Reconsider travel.”

The updated travel advisory cited crime and kidnapping as dangers in Baja California, home to cities such as Tijuana, Mexicali and Ensenada.

“Violent crime and gang activity are common. Of particular concern is the high number of homicides in the non-tourist areas of Tijuana. Most homicides appeared to be targeted; however, criminal organization assassinations and territorial disputes can result in bystanders being injured or killed. U.S. citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs) have been victims of kidnapping,” the State Department said.

The advisory warns citizens to reconsider travel to Guanajuato — currently Mexico’s most violent state and home to popular expatriate and tourism destinations such as Guanajuato city and San Miguel de Allende — due to crime.

“Gang violence, often associated with the theft of petroleum and natural gas from the state oil company and other suppliers, occurs in Guanajuato, primarily in the south and central areas of the state. Of particular concern is the high number of murders in the southern region of the state associated with cartel-related violence,” the State Department said.

The new travel advisory downgrades the alerts for Nuevo León and San Luis Potosí from Level 3 to Level 2 and reduces those for Campeche and Yucatán from Level 2 to Level 1, or “Exercise normal precautions.”

The latest advisory continues to warn U.S. citizens not to travel to five Level 4 states — Colima, Guerrero, Michoacán, Sinaloa and Tamaulipas — due to crime and kidnapping.

There are 11 Level 3 states: Baja California, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Durango, Guanajuato, Jalisco, México state, Morelos, Nayarit, Sonora and Zacatecas.

The State Department advises citizens to reconsider travel to eight of those states due to crime and kidnapping, while for three — Durango, Guanajuato, Nayarit — crime is the only cited risk.

There are 14 Level 2 states: Aguascalientes, Baja California Sur, Chiapas, Hidalgo, Mexico City, Nuevo León, Oaxaca, Puebla, Querétaro, Quintana Roo, San Luis Potosí, Tabasco, Tlaxcala and Veracruz. Campeche and Yucatán are the only Level 1 states.

The United States alert level for Mexico as a whole remains at Level 3, having been downgraded earlier this month, citing the CDC’s Level 3 Travel Health Notice for the country, indicating a high level of the disease in Mexico.

It also says that “violent crime — such as homicide, kidnapping, carjacking, and robbery — is widespread and common in Mexico.” and warns that “the U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in many areas of Mexico, as travel by U.S. government employees to certain areas is prohibited or restricted.”

Mexico News Daily 

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