The State Department has released an advisory warning Americans that there is an increased risk of kidnapping when travelling to Mexico.
The advisory also warned that the US government has limited ability to provide emergency services to citizens in many areas of Mexico, as travel by US government employees to certain areas is prohibited or restricted.
“Violent crime — such as homicide, kidnapping, carjacking, and robbery — is widespread and common in Mexico,” the State Department wrote in its notice issued on Wednesday.
The State Department urged citizens to voluntarily adhere to the same restrictions that are placed on government officials, for their own safety.
The restrictions include not travelling between cities after dark, not hailing taxis on the street, and relying on services like Uber or regulated taxi stands.
It also warned against traveling alone — especially in remote areas.
They added that, “government employees may not drive from the U.S.-Mexico border to or from the interior parts of Mexico, except daytime travel within Baja California and between Nogales and Hermosillo on Mexican Federal Highway 15D, and between Nuevo Laredo and Monterrey on Highway 85D.”
The department named Colima, Guerrero, Michoacan, Sinaloa, Tamaulipas and Zacatecas, as states on their “Do Not Travel” advisory because of crime and kidnapping.
They also urged people to reconsider travel to Baja California, Chihuahua, Durango, Guanajuato, Jalisco, Morelos and Sonora for the same reason.
The Hill reports, “The State Department released a shelter-in-place alert in five cities located in the state of Baja California last weekend after criminal gangs caused fires, roadblocks and increased police activity.”
“Transnational criminal organizations compete in the border area to establish narco-trafficking and human smuggling routes,” the most recent notice elaborated on the Baja California area. “Most homicides appeared to be targeted; however, criminal organization assassinations and territorial disputes can result in bystanders being injured or killed.”
It also noted that Americans have been kidnapped in border cities like Tijuana as well.