Tourists warned of popular Mexico destinations with violent cartels

  • Increasing threats of violence pervading Mexico have made their way to popular tourist spots.
  • State Department officials issued a warning of a heightened risk of violence to Americans.
  • Tourists are an easy target for drug cartels, analysts say, particularly if they’ve come to sample the drug scene.

TULUM, Mexico – With its turquoise waters, white sand and ancient ruins, this city has become an increasingly popular spot for tourists seeking a getaway along the Caribbean coastline.

Its raves, nightclubs and exclusive resorts and restaurants offer a more tranquil getaway than Cancun, its more well-known neighbor 81 miles to the north.

But the increasing threats of violence pervading Mexico have made their way here, as well as the surrounding state of Quintana Roo. State Department officials issued a warning Aug. 17 of a heightened risk of violence to Americans traveling there.

While the US government has no restrictions on travel for its employees in Quintana Roo’s tourist sites, such as Cancun, Cozumel and Tulum, it is warning Americans to “exercise increased caution due to crime and kidnapping.”

Tourists are warned to “remain in well-lit pedestrian streets and tourist zones” in the wake of shootings between rival drug cartels that have injured bystanders.

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In October, two tourists were killed while having dinner in an outdoor restaurant in Tulum. A month later, guests at a resort in Puerto Morelos were forced to hide while gunmen arrived by boat and killed two.

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