The US urges citizens "do not travel to" these five Mexican states

The US urges citizens

The US urges citizens "do not travel to" these five Mexican states

In a travel advisory made public Wednesday, the State Department issued "do not travel" warnings for the northeastern border state of Tamaulipas and the Pacific coast states of Colima, Guerrero, Michoacan and Sinaloa.

The advisories named five states on its level four warning, which is the most unsafe warning that can be issued.

As a country, Mexico has a level-2 rating, which urges American travelers to "exercise increased caution", however half of the 31 Mexican states have a level 3 or 4 warning.

Officials cite continued murder, kidnaping and carjacking related to gang activity as the primary reason for the warning.

Mexico as a whole was given a Category 2 rating, with USA citizens implored to "exercise increased caution".

A huge part of northern Mexico, including the border states of Coahuila, Chihuahua, Nuevo Leon and Sonora among others, was under level 3 warnings.

The State Department has created a color-coded map of Mexico that breaks down each state with warnings specific to those areas.

"According to the updated travel advisory for Mexico and specific mentions for Mexican states and major cities, Mexico's major global tourist destinations have been explicitly listed as having no travel restrictions or they exist in states where there are no special travel advisories for tourists". At least two resorts - Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo and Acapulco - were in Gurrero.

"The U.S. Department of State today confirmed that major global tourism destinations in Mexico are safe", the Mexico Tourism Board said in a statement issued Wednesday.

The no-travel states had mostly already lost much foreign tourism.

Turf wars between rival drug cartels have torn apart Tamaulipas, and Sinaloa is home to the cartel of the same name.

Homicides skyrocketed in Colima in recent years due to the growth of the Jalisco New Generation drug cartel, and the state now has Mexico's highest homicide rate, with 83.3 killings per 100,000 residents, according to figures from the first 11 months of 2017.

The State Department said travelers should use toll roads, exercise caution while visiting bars, clubs and casinos, do not display signs of wealth, and be vigilant when visiting banks or ATM's.

The violence has even encroached on the long-safe tourist havens of Cancun and Los Cabos, where in December the bodies of four men were found hanging from a highway overpass.

Speaking to local media earlier this week, Tourism Secretary Enrique De la Madrid said, "In my opinion, the most important challenge we have in the tourism sector are crime events occurring where they didn't before, for example in Cancun, la Paz and Los Cabos".

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