Travel warning issued for Playa del Carmen in wake of ferry explosion

09 March, 2018, 08:59 | Author: Kim Reid
  • Security Alert - U. S. Embassy Mexico City, Mexico (March 7, 2018) | U.S. Embassy & Consulates in Mexico

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.

The embassy said it had "received information about a security threat" on Wednesday. It did not specify what the threat was.

"We take our obligation to provide information to USA citizens seriously as evidenced by the clear, timely and reliable safety and security information we release worldwide", State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told ABC News when asked about the new alert in Playa del Carmen.

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On Feb 21, an explosive device went off on a popular tourist ferry in Playa del Carmen and injured more than 20 people.

There were 25 people injured in the explosion, the director of Civil Protection for Playa del Carmen told ABC News.

The U.S. embassy didn't disclose further details.

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This prohibition applies only to government officials but leisure travelers were urged to be aware of their surroundings and exercise caution while visiting the city. It specifically mentioned risks of traveling to certain parts due to the ongoing cartel violence and warned that USA citizens have been the victims of violent crimes including homicide, kidnapping, carjacking, and robbery.

USA government employees are not allowed to travel between cities after dark in many parts of Mexico. The US State Department has previously advised travelers to avoid five Mexican states due to soaring crime Mexico's long-running battle against drug cartels has in recent years bled into its iconic tourist destinations, including the once-glamorous Pacific beach resort of Acapulco and most recently Los Cabos on the southern tip of Baja California, both of which have seen murder rates jump sharply. They are Colima, Guerrero, Michoacan, Sinaloa, and Tamaulipas.

One week later, an "apparent explosive device" was found on a Barcos Caribe ferry in Cozumel, Mexico, according to the Playa del Carmen state prosecutor.

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Travelers have also reported being "sexually assaulted, beaten, robbed, taken to jail and mistreated at local hospitals", according to an investigation by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, which also found that travelers encounter indifferent, and at times hostile, resort workers, police and hospital staff.

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