U.S. issues warning for popular Mexican tourist city

Saul Bowman
March 9, 2018

Asked about the new alert, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told ABC News that "we take our obligation to provide information to U.S. citizens seriously as evidenced by the clear, timely and reliable safety and security information we release worldwide".

The Canadian government has added Mexico's most popular tourist destination to its list of travel advisories for the country. A day earlier, a shooting at a music festival in Playa del Carmen left three foreigners and two Mexicans dead. According to a statement issued by the Embassy at that time, undetonated explosive devices were found by Mexican law enforcement on March 1 on another ferry operated by the same company.

The U.S. Embassy in Mexico City posted the notice on its website Wednesday. Playa del Carmen's beaches and resorts have typically been a huge attraction for spring break travelers from the United States. All U.S. government employees are now prohibited from travelling to Playa del Carmen until further notice.

The embassy said late on Wednesday that, as a result of a "security threat", USA government employees are prohibited from traveling to Playa del Carmen and the US consular office in the city has been closed until further notice.

Still, Mexican officials on Thursday said that Playa del Carmen was safe despite the US security warning.

Claire Newell with Travel Best Bets has been telling her clients to be more aware of their surroundings when heading to that popular destination.

"Remain vigilant, stay in tourist areas and follow local media closely", the advisory reads.

Mexican authorities say the ferry incidents are under investigation, while local media reported officials are looking at several possible motives, including the possibility that people linked to the ferry company could have bombed the boat to collect an insurance policy.

The U.S. embassy did not specify the threat or say if it was related to the February 21 blast or the subsequent discovery of apparent explosives attached to another vessel.

Last week four gunmen burst into a hospital in Cancun and shot to death a drug gang suspect and his wife.

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