USA issues travel warning for Mexican resort town Playa del Carmen

Adjust Comment Print

The U.S. Embassy said it received information Wednesday about a "security threat" in Playa del Carmen and U.S. government employees are prohibited from going there, but it did not specify the nature of the threat.

The Canadian travel advisory for Playa del Carmen follows an alert from the USA embassy in Mexico advising Americans of a potential security threat for the area, located on the east coast about 90 minutes south of Cancun.

In August 2017, the U.S. State Department issued a warning to tourists about cartel violence in the once calm beach resorts of Cancun, Cozumel, and Playa del Carmen. Last summer the State Department warned people traveling to Mexico about the possibly of tainted alcohol that led to serious illness and even death in some travelers.

The regional head of in Quintana Roo-the state Playa del Carmen is part of-played down the security risks, issuing a statement that stressed local officials do not know why the US has barred staffers from coming and underlined that the area is still well attended by tourists.

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.

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.

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

Responding to the alert, the local governor's office said US visitors remain welcome in the state of Quintana Roo and Mexico as a whole. Travelers should contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate if they need assistance.

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

Earlier this year, the State Department rolled out a new tiered travel advisory system to warn USA citizens of potential dangers while traveling overseas.

It said the USA consular agency there "will be closed until further notice".

"We do not know why the USA government made a decision to emit this alert". The state of Quintana Roo also comes with a Level 2 warning.

The US travel ban was issued late on Wednesday and was later cited by the Canadian government in its own warning.