United States State Department warns U.S. travelers to avoid five Mexican states which, like nations such as Syria, Yemen, and Somalia, are considered “very dangerous” for Americans.
Among those listed in the recent travel, advisory are Colima, Guerrero, Michoacan, Sinaloa and Tamaulipas, with state officials cautioning travelers to reconsider their trips to an additional 11 states.
The State Department warned that these five districts maintained a level four of potential danger, while Durango, Zacatecas and San Luis Potosí, as well as a few of the border states, remain at a level three.
A statement from the Secretary of Tourism of Mexico (Sectur) reported that 80 percent of the more popular foreign tourist destinations such as Cancun, Riviera Maya, Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta-Riviera Nayari and Mexico City were not included in the travel advisory.
"According to the rating granted to the main entities of the Mexican Republic, the 28 most popular tourist destinations among domestic and foreign travelers did not receive any restriction to be visited for reasons of pleasure or business," Sectur said.
"Meetings were held with the diplomatic representation of the United States in Mexico to ensure that the travel recommendations to the tourist destinations of the states were objective and georeferenced, in such a way as to show the real safety rates in the tourist areas," the statement continued.
Acapulco’s Mayor Evodio Valezquez denounced advisory as unfair and lacking judgment.
"We have been insisting that the alert be removed, it is not new, it is three, four years ago, but it has not been achieved by what the state of Guerrero means, not Acapulco alone, which has its problems a metropolis of a million inhabitants," Valezquez said.
However, the rate of homicide in Colima has seen a serious increase in recent years rising to Mexico’s most dangerous states with 83.3 murders per 100,000 inhabitants last year due to the expansion of drug organizations such as the Jalisco Nueva Generacion Cartel.
U.S. travelers were also warned to avoid unnecessary trips to the Central American nation of Guatemala due to the high criminal violence, sexual assault, armed robbery and gang-related offenses.
The Guatemalan Ministry of Foreign Affairs replied in a statement that they respected the measures taken by various countries and clarified that these are only advisories, not travel bans. It described Guatemala as “a world destination par excellence” and was superior in its aggressive international and national approach to tourism promotion.
Despite the advisory of large crime, reports from the Interior Ministry show that crime statistics have fallen by almost ten percent within the last decade and 96 of its criminal gangs have been dismantled.