The US tells citizens not to travel to five Mexican states

El Arco in Cabo San Lucas

The US tells citizens not to travel to five Mexican states

Mexico - long a destination for world-class museums, archeological sites and beach resorts - now has five states tagged with the US State Department's most severe travel warning.

The advisories named five states on its level four warning, which is the most risky warning that can be issued.

Also new in the travel advisory system, travelers going to Mexico can use a separate color-coded map of the country that breaks down each Mexican state with warnings specific to those areas.

The latest classifications place half of Mexico's 31 states under Level 3 or 4 warnings.

Overall, the State Department gave Mexico a category 2 classification, meaning that U.S. citizens should "exercise increased caution", according to the Times.

Most of northern Mexico, including the border states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo Leon and Sonora as well as Durango, Zacatecas and San Luis Potosi, are under level 3 warnings.

In a statement, Mexico's Tourism Ministry noted that more than 28 of its most popular tourism destinations for global travelers have no restrictions.

The advisory also states "there are no US government restrictions for travel in Baja California Sur, which includes the tourist areas of Cabo San Lucas, San Jose del Cabo and La Paz".

In Jalisco, a Level 3 state that is home to Guadalajara and the Puerto Vallarta resort, there are no stay restrictions on USA government employees. The destination made an appearance for the first time in a U.S. State Department travel warning in August and responded with an aggressive and multipronged security action plan, which includes the construction of a marine base that is due to open next year and an expanded surveillance network.

The no-travel states had mostly already lost much foreign tourism.

The U.S. government did note its employees are allowed to go to the seaside city of Manzanillo, Colima.

Sinola, one of the states listed under the "do not travel" warning, saw increasing levels of crime and violence by gangs to claim control of the Sinola cartel, after the capture of its former boss Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán and his extradition to the U.S. The state of Gurrero, according to the Guardian, became infamous after 434 students disappeared in 2014. The highest homicide rate in Mexico is in Colima due to the growth of a new cartel, where there are 83.3 killings per 100,000 people. This is the area where the popular twin resorts of Los Cabos are located.

Earlier this week, Tourism Secretary Enrique De la Madrid said, "In my opinion, the most important challenge we have in the tourism sector are crime events occurring where they didn't before, for example in Cancun, la Paz and Los Cabos".

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