State Department issues travel advisory for many parts of Mexico due to increase in violent crimes

The U.S. Department of State issued a travel advisory for many parts of Mexico due to an increased risk of violent crimes such as kidnapping and homicides.

The Level 2 advisory, which urges travelers to “exercise increased caution,” was issued on Tuesday.

“Violent crime – such as homicide, kidnapping, carjacking, and robbery – is widespread,” the advisory said. “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 significantly restricted.”

Government employees were also urged not to travel between cities after dark, not to get cabs on the street and to rely on dispatched vehicles to get around. They were also urged not to drive from the U.S.-Mexico border to and from many parts of Mexico.

American travelers should not travel to Colima, Guerror, Michocan, Sinaloa and Tamaulipas because of the increased crime risk, according to the advisory.

They should also reconsider traveling to the following states because of increased crime:

  • Chihuahua
  • Coahuila
  • Durango
  • Jalisco
  • Mexico state
  • Morelos
  • Nayarit
  • Nuevo Leon
  • San Luis Potosi
  • Sonora
  • Zacatecas

If Americans do decide to still travel to those parts of Mexico, they are urged to keep travel companions and family back home informed of travel plans. They are also advised to provide GPS locations if they separate from a travel group and take a photo of a taxi number or license plate and send it to a friend if they use one alone.

They should also use toll roads whenever possible and avoid traveling alone at night. If they do travel at night, they need to be wary of bars, nightclubs and casinos.

American travelers should not show they may have money and refrain from wearing expensive jewelry or clothes.

To learn more about the advisory, including a breakdown of the crime in each state, click here.