U.S. issues travel alert for Mexico due to Covid-19 and increase incrime
The United States has issued a travel alert for Mexico asking not to travel to five states in the country due to crime, according to information provided by the State Department. Specifically, the alert, which also notes the COVID-19 pandemic situation in Mexico, warns about exercising extra caution if traveling to the country because of crime and the risk of kidnapping. Some areas carry a higher risk.
Thus, Colima, Guerrero, Michoacán, Sinaloa and Tamaulipas are the states singled out, all for criminality, except Tamaulipas, where there is also a warning of the danger of being kidnapped. In addition, it asks to reconsider travel to Chihuahua, Cohauila, Durango, Jalisco, State of Mexico, Morelos, Nayarit, Nuevo Leon, San Luis Potosi, Sonora and Zacatecas.
Violent crimes, such as homicide, kidnapping, robbery, and vehicle theft, are expanding," he insisted, before highlighting that "armed criminal groups are known to attack and rob commercial vessels, oil rigs and offshore supply vessels in the Bay of Campeche.
The State Department has acknowledged that the U.S. Government has limited ability to provide its citizens with emergency services in several areas of Mexico, as travel by government employees to certain areas is prohibited or significantly restricted. In the event of travel, it is recommended that U.S. government employees not travel between locations at night or take cabs on the street, among others.
Mexico's response to the alert
After the U.S. government issued a level four alert on April 20 for its citizens not to travel to Mexico due to an increase in crime and kidnapping in some areas, Mexican authorities expressed their concern over this decision. According to a statement issued by the Ministries of Foreign Affairs (SRE) and Tourism (SECTUR), such action has a bilateral impact on the reactivation of tourism and connectivity with the North American region.
"With the U.S. we share an extensive and complex common border and a diversity of natural markets, which together with Canada make up one of the main supply chains in the world. Likewise, we share in neighborliness, communities that reside in both countries and families in both nations," reads the official document.
Likewise, some achievements between both countries were highlighted, such as that in 2019 the tourism market reached a volume of 173 million 364 thousand international visitors. This amount of people represented a total expenditure of USD 26,873 million, of which Americans spent in Mexico USD 18,617 million, while Mexicans exercised in the United States an expenditure of USD 8,256 million.
"Restricting productive, tourist and business mobility by inhibiting the flow of travelers between the two countries would represent a loss for both economies, in the interior, in the border area, and in the cruise market," both agencies highlighted.
One of the strategies taken by Mexico to avoid the travel ban was the vaccination against COVID-19 and highlighted that thanks to biosecurity measures and inoculation, it is among the 15 countries with the highest reception and application of biologicals against the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
"Without ignoring the serious crisis that the pandemic represents for the world and the region, the Mexican authorities understand the impact that this decision has for both nations and will address this situation with their U.S. counterparts since the measure is not only aimed at Mexico, but at a broad group of countries," the statement said.