Travelers planning to go to Mexico are being warned by the State Department not to travel to the country citing increased threats of drug cartels and kidnapping. According to the Daily Mail, six states in Mexico have been placed under the department’s most severe ‘do not travel’ warning, and out of the 32 states, just two have been labeled with the lowest level ‘normal precautions’ designation. Some of the severe warnings have been issued for popular tourist resorts that were once considered safe.
The State Department has issued its highest tier of warning for these six “dangerous” states: Guerrero, Colima, Michoacan, Sinaloa, Tamaulipas and Zacatecas. The state, Quintana Roo, where the highly popular tourist destinations including Tulum, Playa Del Carmen, and Cancun are located have been raised to a level two ‘exercise increased caution’ warning.
One of the cartels that has an emerging presence in popular resorts is the Jalisca New Generation Cartel. Sergio Armando Orozco Rodriguez, also known as ‘Chocho,’ is an alleged member of the cartel in which he “extorts local businesses for protection funds.” According to the United States Treasury, Chocho has a presence on the main strip of restaurants and businesses in the city. The Treasury Department also reported that this cartel is “responsible for trafficking ‘a significant portion of the fentanyl and other deadly drugs that enter the United States.'”
Robert Almonte, a former US marshal in the western district of Texas, suggested that it is time for Americans to stop visiting Mexico until “the cartels issue is under control.”
Despite such dire warnings to Americans not to travel to these destinations, data suggests that there has not been any slowing down of those visiting Mexico as of last year. In 2022, over 30 million people visited Mexico. Just weeks away from spring break, Americans should be cautious about traveling to Mexico and beware of the potential circumstances they may encounter if the government’s dire warning is ignored.