Published: Sun, March 11, 2018
Worldwide | By Sean Reid

US bars govt workers from Mexican resort of Playa del Carmen

US bars govt workers from Mexican resort of Playa del Carmen

The flag of Mexico changes in front of a large USA flag in front of the New York Stock Exchange September 4, 2015.

The U.S. State Department issued a security alert on Wednesday for Playa del Carmen, a popular spring break spot on Mexico's eastern coast, noting that "the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City received information about a security threat in Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, Mexico". The warnings come after a bomb exploded on a ferry that runs between Playa del Carmen and Cozumel in February and an unexploded ordinance was found on another ferry a week later. Since then the U.S. Embassy says it's banned its employees from using ferries and issued a warning to travelers to exercise increased caution.

"We have directed u.s. government officials to not travel there at this time", State Dept. spokesperson, Heather Nauert explained. He also said that important updates would be provided once more information becomes available.

An explosion on a tourist ferry last month in Playa del Carmen left at least five USA citizens injured.

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Over the past year, there has been a dramatic increase in violence in and around Playa del Carmen, according to Eric Olson, an expert on security issues in Mexico at the Wilson Center's Latin American Program. The first explosion took place as passengers disembarked the ferry, according to the municipality of Solidaridad, which includes Playa del Carmen.

And while USA citizens aren't explicitly forbidden to visit Playa del Carmen, if the consulate and embassy services are unavailable in a place you're planning to be, it's generally a good idea to head somewhere else. Why? Two weeks before that incident, an explosion on another ferry left 26 people hurt.

Both incidents are still under investigation with no apparent motive released to the public yet.

USA citizens are warned not to travel to five Mexican states including Colima, Guerrero, Michoacán, Sinaloa, and Tamaulipas. The states are Colima, Guerrero, Michoacan, Sinaloa, and Tamaulipas; Quintana Roo, the state where Playa del Carmen is located, is still at a level two.

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