U.S. issues travel alert for Guanajuato; asks to avoid highway

The office urged employees to avoid traveling on Highway 45, which connects Irapuato, Silao, and Leon.

U.S. issues travel alert for Guanajuato; asks to avoid highway
In Guanajuato, avoid highway connecting Irapuato, Silao and Leon. Credit: Ryuta F. / Unsplash

The U.S. Embassy in Mexico issued a travel alert due to the violence in Guanajuato last Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning when members of organized crime burned businesses and vehicles.

The U.S. Embassy warned its U.S. citizens to "reconsider travel to the state of Guanajuato due to crime following numerous confirmed acts of violence on August 9, including the arson of buildings and vehicles".

"Until further notice, U.S. Government employees are from traveling on Highway 45 from Irapuato to the cities of Silao and Leon in the state of Guanajuato," the alert document mentions.

"Gang violence, often associated with the theft of oil and natural gas from the state oil company and other suppliers, occurs in Guanajuato, mainly in the southern and central areas of the state. Of particular concern is the high number of murders in the southern state region associated with cartel-related violence," the institution added.

The U.S. Embassy recommended not to take the warnings lightly and to avoid traveling to the indicated cities; to be aware of the environment; to follow the instructions of local authorities; and, in case of emergency, call 911.

Fires and acts of violence shook Guanajuato after memebers of the Secretariat of National Defense (Sedena) and state police intervened in a high-profile encounter between two organized crime gangs.

Diego Sinhue, governor of Guanajuato, reported that police arrested 11 people for their alleged fire involvement. The detainees were presented on Thursday by the undersecretary of Security and Citizen Protection of the Mexican government, Ricardo Mejía.