US Close Consulate in Mexico Citing a 'Security Threat'

Security Alert - U. S. Embassy Mexico City, Mexico (March 7, 2018) | U.S. Embassy & Consulates in Mexico

Security Alert - U. S. Embassy Mexico City, Mexico (March 7, 2018) | U.S. Embassy & Consulates in Mexico

According to ABC News, the embassy in Mexico City issued the alert Wednesday night for Playa del Carmen, a coastal resort town near Cancun and Cozumel on the Caribbean. The embassy says in an alert posted on its website that it received information Wednesday about a "security threat" in that city and US government employees are prohibited from going there. Because of this alert, US government employees can not travel between cities after dark in much of the country. 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.

"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%.

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.

A subsequent probe earlier this month also uncovered undetonated explosives on a different tourist ferry boat owned by the same company.

The blast aboard the Caribbean ferry last month injured 25 people, two of which were American and three Canadian.

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The U.S. Embassy issued a travel warning for a resort in Mexico following a ferry explosion. Travelers should contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate if they need assistance.

Violence related to organized crime has been on the rise in Mexico since 2017, including at popular tourist destinations in the state of Quintana Roo, such as Playa del Carmen and Cancun.

"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", Nauert said.

"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.

He said he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time when the shooting occurred, and those kinds of incidents "could really happen anywhere in the world".

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