College students love to plan for spring break. This might be your last hoorah, and you want to have the best time ever. Mexico thrives as a top spring break destination every year. This time, however, might be a little different.
The State Department released a new “do not travel” advisory Thursday for the U.S. for five Mexican states due to a rise in crime and gang activity.
Mexico continues to be a destination that requires travelers to use “increased caution,” according to the State Department. Events like homicide, carjacking, kidnapping and robbery bring the states to level 4, the highest level regarding potential danger.
The Mexican states on the advisory include Tamaulipas, Sinaloa, Colima, Michoacan and Guerrero. They are considered to be as dangerous as countries like Syria, Yemen and Somalia. Individual states compared to war-ridden countries? This needs to be resolved.
The downfall of the states can be blamed on drug cartels, thanks to their trafficking routes and widespread drug plants.
Rival cartel disputes ruined Tamaulipas. The Sinaloa Cartel is well known due to their violence. Michoacan’s cartel faced vigilantes and lost in 2013. Talk about taking matters into your own hands.
The Jalisco New Generation cartel caused the highest homicide rate in Colima. The state sees 83.3 killings per 100,000 residents, according to the numbers from 11 months of 2017.
Along with these level 4 states, 11 states earned a level 3 warning. This is why you need to think about where you’re going this year. Mexico should not be a hot spot if you plan on avoiding violence. The country saw 22,409 deaths from January to November last year, the highest toll since these statistics began being released in 1997.
But what about Cancun? Los Cabos? You might be safe there. The State Department kept Baja California Sur and Quintana Roo at level 2. You can go there, but like anywhere, treat it with caution.
Acapulco should be avoided at all costs. The popular Mexican resort, along with Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo, are in Guerrero. The State Department issued a total ban on personal travel there last year.
The State Department also changed their system for releasing these warnings. It is now easier to understand what they are trying to tell us.
The government’s Mexico Tourism Board said in a statement that “Mexico’s major international tourism destinations have been explicitly listed as having no travel restrictions,” including resorts like Cancun, Puerto Vallarta and Huatulco. With this ban in place think of it this way, you could avoid the awful sunburn you get every year.
Tourism and crime do not go together. Enrique de la Madrid, Mexico’s Minister of Tourism, struggles to realize that the two don’t merge.
The Minister told The Dallas Morning News,
I’m very respectful of what the State Department has to do … what I’m saying is those numbers aren’t necessarily to be considered for tourism purposes because they’re describing (a different) situation. We just want to send a signal, which is true, that our destinations are a safe place to visit.
[via USA Today]