The U.S. Department of State has updated its travel advisory for Mexico, as of July 16.
The revised alert advises U.S. citizens to avoid travel to five Mexican states due to high crime levels: Colima, Guerrero, Michoacan, Sinaloa and Tamaulipas. These states are classified as being at “level four” security risk.
Employees of the U.S. government are prohibited from travel to these states. And, as stated under U.S. law, citizens must also be advised of the restrictions.
The missive notes that the U.S. government has “limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens” in these areas.
Among other advice the State Department gives for U.S. citizens living or traveling in Mexico:
• Use toll roads when possible and avoid driving at night.
• Exercise increased caution when visiting local bars, nightclubs and casinos.
• Do not display signs of wealth, such as wearing expensive watches or jewelry.
• Be extra vigilant when visiting banks or ATMs.
• Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive alerts and make it easier to be located in an emergency.
• Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
• Review the online Crime and Safety Reports for Mexico.
• Always have a contingency plan for emergency situations.
The state of Jalisco is listed in the “level 3” risk category, under the heading “Reconsider Travel.”
Notes the State Department advisory:
“Reconsider travel due to crime. Violent crime and gang activity are common in parts of Jalisco state.
“U.S. government employees are prohibited from travel to areas bordering Michoacan and Zacatecas states. U.S. government employees are prohibited from traveling between cities after dark and from using Highway 80 between Cocula and La Huerta.
“U.S. government employees may use federal toll road 15D for travel to Mexico City. However, they may not stop in the towns of La Barca or Ocotlan for any reason.
“U.S. government employees are prohibited from patronizing adult clubs and gambling establishments in Jalisco.
“There are no restrictions on U.S. government employees for stays in the following tourist areas in Jalisco state: Guadalajara, Puerto Vallarta, Chapala and Ajijic.”
Meanwhile, the U.S Consulate in Ciudad Juarez has issued a security alert for the downtown area due to the sharp rise in homicides, particularly daytime shootings.
The alert issued July 13 prohibits U.S. government personnel from visiting downtown Juarez without advance permission. U.S. citizens are also advised to consider the travel restriction. More than 50 people have been slain in the first two weeks of July in the Mexican border city, according to local news reports.