Yesterday, the U.S. Department of State updated its travel warning for Mexico, issuing advisories to either exercise caution or defer non-essential travel in 20 of the country's 31 states. More than 150,000 U.S. citizens cross the border into Mexico every day, and resort areas and tourist destinations are not generally subject to the violence and danger of crimes reported in the border region or on major trafficking routes. Hot travel spots like Cancun, Cozumel, and Tulum have no advisory.
Homicide, gun battles, kidnapping, carjacking, and highway robbery are some of the crimes that U.S. citizens have fallen victim to. According to the warning, the number of U.S. citizens reported to the Department of State as murdered in Mexico was 81 in 2013 and 100 in 2014. Some tourist destinations like Teotihuacan in the Estado de Mexico region are not safe. Southern Baja California registered its highest homicide rate since 1997. And tourist spot Copper Canyon in the state of Chihuahua continue to see rising crime and violence.
Public establishments of particular safety concern include casinos, sports books, or other gambling spots and adult entertainment establishments. U.S. citizens are also encouraged by the State Department to keep a low profile, keeping behaviors that display wealth (like jewelry or accessories) to a minimum. Violent and sometimes fatal incidents happen at all times of the day, including public places in broad daylight.
The report states: "The number of kidnappings throughout Mexico is of particular concern and appears to be on the rise. According to statistics published by the Mexican Secretaria de Gobernacion (SEGOB), in 2013 kidnappings nationwide increased 20 percent over the previous year. While kidnappings can occur anywhere, according to SEGOB, during this timeframe, the states with the highest numbers of kidnappings were Tamaulipas, Guerrero, Michoacán, Estado de Mexico, and Morelos." Carjacking and highway robbery are also a serious problem in many parts of the border region.