The U.S. State Department has updated its travel advisory for Mexico, which among other things strongly councils caution when traveling to Jalisco and includes dire warnings to stay away from five states: Colima, Michoacán, Sinaloa, Guerrero and Tamaulipas.
It sounds clear cut – if perhaps somewhat alarmist, seeing as the warnings applied to those five states effectively conflate the danger posed to travelers there with that of Syria and Yemen – but the advisory’s subsequent series of caveats may muddy the waters for some readers.
First of all, the new advisory has been divided into four color-coded tiers:
Number 1, colored blue and the least severe, reads “Exercise normal precautions.”
Number 2, in yellow, advises travelers to “Exercise increased caution.”
Number 3, darkening to orange, declares with a prudish click of the tongue to “Reconsider travel.”
Number 4, in crimson, states with grim finality “Do not travel.”
It is to this last category that the five aforementioned states belong, while Jalisco is filed under number three. Furthermore, half of Mexico’s 31 states now belong to either category three or four.
A potential area of confusion for those perusing the State Department’s website may consist of disentangling advisories to the general public from ones issued solely to government employees.