The Biden administration has issued a travel advisory for six states in Mexico, citing concerns over drug cartel activities and potential kidnappings.
The states highlighted for heightened caution include Colima, Guerrero, Michoacán, Sinaloa, Tamaulipas, and Zacatecas. U.S. citizens are strongly advised to avoid traveling to these regions.
Furthermore, the U.S. government has also recommended reconsidering travel plans to Chihuahua, Baja California, Guanajuato, Jalisco, Morelos, and Durango for similar reasons.
Ken Salazar, the U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, emphasized that there have been minimal changes in the travel advisories for Mexico.
However, he stressed that the primary objective is to ensure the safety of American citizens abroad. “One of our main priorities is to protect American citizens overseas,” Salazar stated.
“That’s why the State Department issues a periodic update of this alert every year, aimed at providing timely and relevant information to U.S. citizens about health, safety, and other factors that might impact those traveling or living in Mexico.”
While acknowledging the challenges, Salazar defended the collaborative efforts between Mexico and the U.S. in combating organized crime.
He pointed out that joint actions have not resulted in “declines in benchmark levels,” reflecting the “shared work on security matters.”
Salazar elaborated on the factors considered when issuing travel alerts.
“These alerts are constantly updated throughout the year and are based on a technical analysis that takes into account a wide range of factors, including homicide rates, kidnappings, and violent crime rates,” he explained.
He further clarified that the U.S. does not issue blanket advisories for the entirety of Mexico. Instead, the focus is on specific regions.
“In the case of Mexico, these alerts are not issued for the country as a whole but for individual states. Therefore, at times, the security situation and recommendations for U.S. citizens are focused on specific localities. This means that the advisory might pertain to particular sites and does not necessarily reflect the situation in the entire state,” Salazar concluded.
With information from the Official Statement from the U.S. Embassy in Mexico