The U.S. State Department has reiterated its “do not travel” warning for some parts of Mexico as Americans plan their upcoming spring break.
“The safety and security of U.S. citizens overseas is one of the Department’s highest priorities, and we provide U.S. citizens with relevant information so they can make well-informed decisions before they travel,” a State Department spokesperson told Fox News Digital, noting that the last advisory was issued on Oct. 5, 2022.
But the department, which reviews travel advisories on a “regular basis,” said that it had “no changes to the Mexico Travel Advisory to announce or preview.”
Mexico ranks as the top international destination for Americans traveling for spring break, with three different locations in Mexico ranking in the top 10, according to an Allianz Partners survey of some 1.8 million flight itineraries.
News Nation Now reported that more than 30 million Americans traveled to Mexico over the first 11 months of 2022 alone.
The State Department currently assesses six Mexican states as having Level 4 travel advisory concerns – meaning those areas with “greater likelihood of life-threatening risks”: Colima, Guerrero, Michoacan, Tamaulipas and Zacatecas, all due to risk of high crime and almost all with a high risk of kidnapping.
“Violent crime and gang activity are widespread,” the department warning said of one area. “Most homicides are targeted assassinations against members of criminal organizations.”
“Shooting incidents between criminal groups have injured or killed bystanders,” it continued. “U.S. citizens and LPRs have been victims of kidnapping.”
Another seven states pose a Level 3 travel risk, mostly due to the high risk of crime but some areas with a risk of kidnapping, including Baja California, Chihuahua, Durango, Guanajuato, Jalisco, Morelos and Sonora.
Only two of Mexico’s 32 states, Campeche and Yucatán, currently have the lowest level of precaution, “normal precautions’ designation.”
The areas of greatest concern rest on the coast and border areas. The department lists homicide, kidnapping, carjacking and robbery as “widespread and common in Mexico.”
“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,” the most recent Mexico travel warning read. “In many states, local emergency services are limited outside the state capital or major cities.”
Mexican officials urged the U.S. State Department to reconsider its heightened advisories in November last year.
Mexico’s tourism ministry said it has urged the United States to adjust its travel warnings to several Mexican states in order to “detail the areas that could represent problems and not generalize, as some isolated cases of insecurity are numerous kilometers from tourism destinations.”
The press release suggested that the United States is open to modifying the guidance, citing Angela Kerwin, secretary of consular affairs of the U.S. State Department, saying during a meeting that “timely information is the key to boosting tourism from the neighboring nation to Mexico, and in this way, tourists and U.S. residents know in a timely manner the condition of the destination they visit or where they reside.”