US Close Consulate in Mexico Citing a 'Security Threat'

Security Alert - U. S. Embassy Mexico City, Mexico (March 7, 2018) | U.S. Embassy & Consulates in Mexico

US Close Consulate in Mexico Citing a 'Security Threat'

The U.S. Consular Agency in Playa del Carmen in the state of in Quintana Roo will be "closed until further notice", the embassy said in a message posted to its official website.

USA government employees are now not allowed to travel to the area until further notice.

An explosion, apparently caused by a mechanical failure, on a ferry that runs between the touristic Playa del Carmen and the island of Cozumel, in the Mexican Caribbean, left three Canadians and 15 Mexicans injured on Wednesday, local authorities reported.

The Embassy is advising travelers to be aware of their surroundings and to exercise caution; as well as to purchase travel insurance that specifically covers them in Mexico and includes medical evacuation insurance.

However, on Thursday, Mexican officials insisted that Playa del Carmen is safe despite the US security alert.

Samardzija said he went back to Playa del Carmen in January and he has "never felt unsafe" in the tourist destination.

The travel advisory was issued Thursday, one day after the United States issued a warning to citizens about a possible security threat in the coastal resort town.

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On March 1, undetonated explosive devices were found by Mexico law enforcement on another tourist ferry.

The U.S. Embassy issued a travel warning for a resort in Mexico following a ferry explosion.

Violence related to organized crime has been on the rise in Mexico since 2017, including at popular tourist destinations in the state of Quintana Roo, such as Playa del Carmen and Cancun. Previously, the department had used "travel alerts" for short-term dangers and "travel warnings" for long-term concerns, a distinction that was often confusing.

"We do not know why the USA government chose to emit this alert".

Last summer, the department also cautioned vacationers to be careful when drinking alcohol in Mexico.

"As the safety and security of our guests and crew is our highest priority, our security department remains in close contact with government and private sources as well as our local agents and tour operators and continues to monitor the situation", Princess Cruises said in a statement last Friday. "Shooting incidents injuring or killing bystanders have occurred".

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