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Canada issues travel alert over security concern in Mexico

Canada issues travel alert over security concern in Mexico

Playa del Carmen is considered a security threat to USA citizens, with US officials issuing a travel alert after undetonated explosive devices were found on a ferry that operates between the Mexican resort town and Cozumel a week after a ferry explosion in late February. The embassy says in an alert posted on its website that it received information Wednesday about a "security threat" in that city and USA government employees are prohibited from going there. Additionally, "U.S. Government employees are prohibited from traveling to Playa del Carmen".

The alert comes as many Canadians and Americans head south for spring break and just weeks after at least 25 people were injured when an explosion ripped through a ferry in Playa del Carmen.

The State Department issued a "Level 2: Exercise increased caution" alert status for Mexico earlier this year, and now advises US travellers to avoid five states in Mexico: Colima, Guerrero, Michoacan, Sinaloa, and Tamaulipas.

"All tourism activity in Playa del Carmen continues in a normal manner", the state government said in a statement, noting hotel occupancy is around 80%.

The government of the Caribbean coast state of Quintana Roo said that President Enrique Pena Nieto was scheduled to attend an ocean conservation conference in Playa del Carmen on Thursday.




The U.S. Embassy in Mexico City posted the notice on its website Wednesday. Travelers should contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate if they need assistance. The State Department's alert system puts it at a "Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution".

A subsequent probe earlier this month also uncovered undetonated explosives on a different tourist ferry boat owned by the same company. Previously, the department had used "travel alerts" for short-term dangers and "travel warnings" for long-term concerns, a distinction that was often confusing.

"We do not know the reason for the decision of the USA government to issue this statement", the office said, adding that it is ready to cooperate with the U.S.to ensure the safety of USA tourists.

While these groups don't usually target tourists, the advisory says "armed clashes" between criminals and security forces can occur without warning and Canadians could be "caught in the crossfire". It specifically mentioned risks of traveling to certain parts due to the ongoing cartel violence and warned that US citizens have been the victims of violent crimes including homicide, kidnapping, carjacking, and robbery.

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