Despite the fact that millions of US citizens safely travel to Mexico each year, more and more Americans are the target of violent crimes such as kidnapping, robbery and carjacking in many parts of the country, according to a new Travel Warning issued by the State Department:
‘’Crime and violence are serious problems and can occur anywhere, and U.S. citizens have fallen victim to criminal activity, including homicide, gun battles, kidnapping, carjacking, and highway robbery. While many of those killed in organized crime-related violence have themselves been involved in criminal activity, innocent persons have also been killed.’’
The warning reports that there has been an increase in the number of Americans murdered in Mexico, from 81 in 2013, to 100 in 2014.
The State Department also says that gun battles between rival criminal organizations or with the police and military, “have taken place in towns and cities in many parts of Mexico, and have occurred in broad daylight on streets and in other public venues, such as restaurants and clubs.” Due to the “location and timing of future armed engagements is unpredictable,” it recommends deferring travel to the areas listed in the warning.
However, the new risk assessment shows some improvement from the one issued in August 2014, where 14 Mexican states were labeled unsafe by the State Department. Now, the warning advises Americans not to travel in eight states, and exercise caution in 12 other states.