The U.S. State Department on Tuesday issued an updated travel warning for Mexico advising travelers about organized crime-related safety and security issues. The new warning for the first time added the states of some of the country's most popular resort areas, such as Baja California Sur, which includes La Paz and Los Cabos, and Quintana Roo, which includes Cancun, Cozumel, Playa del Carmen, Riviera Maya and Tulum.
For the past several years, the State Department has had an evolving travel warning in place for Mexico that has addressed the risks of traveling to certain parts of the country due to the activities of criminal organizations.
"U.S. citizens have been the victims of violent crimes, including homicide, kidnapping, carjacking, and robbery in various Mexican states," stated the latest travel warning, which replaced a Dec. 8, 2016 version.
"U.S. citizens should be aware that according to Government of Mexico statistics, the state of Quintana Roo experienced an increase in homicide rates compared to 2016," the warning stated. "While most of these homicides appeared to be targeted criminal organization assassinations, turf battles between criminal groups have resulted in violent crime in areas frequented by U.S. citizens. Shooting incidents, in which innocent bystanders have been injured or killed, have occurred." The language was similar in the section for Baja California Sur.
Neither entry called attention to specific areas of the state, as is the case in other parts of the country.
The other updates involved the states of Baja California, Chiapas, Colima and Guerrero, where the State Department has issued various levels of transportation restrictions for U.S. government personnel.
Neither Mexico City nor Guanajuato were included in the update.
The State Department updates its Mexico travel warning fairly regularly, but since the advisory has not previously touched on major resort areas, the impact on Mexico tourism has been relatively tame.
The updated warning comes as Mexico is grappling with another public relations crisis: mounting media attention on reports of alleged tainted alcohol being served at resorts.