State Department warns of travel risks in Mexico due to widespread kidnapping

Officials urge avoidance of more than a dozen states.

Updated: August 19, 2022 - 3:42pm

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The State Department this week issued a broad advisory for U.S. citizens considering travel into Mexico, warning of widespread kidnapping and crime plaguing multiple Mexican states. 

The department said in its advisory that "violent crime – such as homicide, kidnapping, carjacking, and robbery – is widespread and common in Mexico."

"The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in many areas of Mexico, as travel by U.S. government employees to certain areas is prohibited or restricted," the memo read. 

The State Department advised Americans to avoid traveling to half a dozen states being rocked by kidnapping and crime, including Sinaloa and Guerrero, the former historically an epicenter of violent cartel activity.

The department also suggested Americans "reconsider" travel to several more states, including Chihuahua, Jalisco and Sonora, all of them suffering similar waves of kidnapping and crime.

The memo said that government workers are bound by specific orders when traveling in Mexico. 

"U.S. government employees may not travel between cities after dark, may not hail taxis on the street, and must rely on dispatched vehicles, including app-based services like Uber, and regulated taxi stands," the rules read; they also stipulate that workers should "avoid traveling alone, especially in remote areas."