U.S. issues travel warning for Playa Del Carmen

U.S. issues travel warning for Playa Del Carmen

The U.S. Embassy in Mexico took the decision to close services in coastal resort town Playa del Carmen on Wednesday night, issuing a statement on the alert that did not specifically state what the threat was.

Last summer, vacationers were warned to be careful drinking alcohol in Mexico after a US traveler died at a resort near Playa del Carmen after drinking and other tourists said they had blacked out after drinking, USA Today reported.

"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.

Playa del Carmen is near Mexico's most popular tourist destinations, including Cancun and Cozumel.

However, on Thursday, Mexican officials insisted that Playa del Carmen is safe despite the USA security alert.

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Claire Newell with Travel Best Bets has been telling her clients to be more aware of their surroundings when heading to that popular destination. A day earlier, a shooting at a music festival in Playa del Carmen left three foreigners and two Mexicans dead.

Last week, undetonated explosives were discovered on another ferry that, like the first one, shuttled tourists between Playa del Carmen and nearby Cozumel island.

The U.S. Embassy issued a travel warning for a resort in Mexico following a ferry explosion. "Contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate if you need assistance". Now, travel advisories range from Level 1 ("exercise normal precautions") to Level 4 ("do not travel").

Quintana Roo Governor Carlos Joaquín González issued a statement last night in which he played down the security risks and said local officials did not know why the US had barred its employees from visiting the town.

"According to Government of Mexico statistics, the state experienced an increase in homicide rates compared to the same period in 2016", the warning for Quintana Roo states. 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.

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