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12 January 2018, 12:21 | Darnell Patrick
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The US Department of State on Wednesday, 10 January, issued "do not travel" advisories for five Mexican states, warning its citizens to completely avoid these regions.
"Violent crime, such as homicide, kidnapping, carjacking, and robbery, is widespread", the advisory said.
Weeks after Mexico recorded its most murderous year on record, the United States urged its citizens not to visit five violence-plagued Mexican states, placing them in the same danger category as war-torn Somalia, Afghanistan and Syria.
The advisory issued its second-lowest warning for several Mexican states including Baja California and Baja California Sur, advising Americans to "exercise increased caution due to crime".
Tamaulipas, Sinaloa, Colima, Michoacan and Guerrero, where the popular tourist destination Acapulco is located, are the five states that have been slapped with a level-4 warning. The list also included Mexico'smost populous state - the State of Mexico - which also had most suburbs of Mexico City and Jalisco, the Puerto Vallarta resorts and the lakeside expat community of Chapala and Ajijic. But the travel advisory said there are "no restrictions on US government employees for stays in".
The border states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo Leon and Sonora as well as Durango, Zacatecas and San Luis Potosi are the ones that have been placed under level-3 warnings, FOX 5 reported.
The advisory delivered a stark reminder of the formerly ritzy seaside resort city Acapulco fall from grace.
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Los Angeles Times reports that the advisory is the proof of the surging violence in Mexico, which has claimed almost 22,409 lives in 2017 - more than any year since 1997 when the government start releasing crime data.
Esponda said local officials and tourism operators are investing in increased security, including camera systems and the construction of a new marine base.
However, at least two Mexican resorts - Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo and Acapulco - are in a do-not-travel state, Guerrero, and a year ago, the State Department extended a total ban on personal travel by USA government personnel there.
"We are encouraged, and this underscores our belief that Los Cabos is safe and secure", said Rodrigo Esponda, managing director of the Los Cabos Tourism Board.
In a statement, Mexico's Tourism Ministry noted that more than 28 of its most popular tourism destinations for global travelers have no restrictions.
"I'm guessing they are breathing a sigh of relief", he said.
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