An increase in violence in two popular tourist destinations has the U.S. State Department warning citizens about travel to Cancun and Los Cabos.
The new warning was issued Tuesday, upgrading the previous advisory for two Mexican states, Quintana Roo—also home to Cozumel, Playa del Carmen, Riviera Maya and Tulum—and Baja California Sur due to rising tension between rival crime gangs which has spilled over to areas frequented by Americans. The State Department said U.S. citizens have been the victims of homicide, shootings and kidnapping.
"Shooting incidents, in which innocent bystanders have been injured or killed, have occurred" in both states, the warning said.
The Mexican government is providing resources to combat the violence and protect its $20 billion tourism industry. Quintana Roo has implemented a security initiative that will install 3,000 surveillence cameras and increase the police presence on busy streets and popular gathering spots. There are currently 180 officers in Cancun and 60 in Playa del Carmen, and more officers are being recruited.
Quintana Roo’s public security secretary Rodolfo del Angel Campos said the state had been “very prompt” in addressing security in tourist areas.