The British government is warning tourists in Mexico to be alert to the risk of being caught up in gang-related violence after a recent shooting at a beach resort.
On Monday, three people sustained gunshot wounds in Playa del Carmen, which is located between Cancun and Tulum, in an incident suspected to be linked to drug cartels.
In its updated travel advice, the Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office (FCDO) warned of increased violence between criminal gangs in and around tourist hotspots on Mexico’s popular Caribbean coast.
It said: “Two foreign tourists were killed in Tulum, more tourists were injured during a shootout in Puerto Morelos, and most recently there was a shooting in the Centre of Playa del Carmen, injuring three.
“There is currently an increased police presence in the Cancun area, including in the hotel zone. While tourists have not been the target, anyone in the vicinity of an incident could be affected.
“If you are visiting any of these areas, you should monitor local advice, remain vigilant and follow the advice of the local authorities and your tour operator.”
After a spate of attacks fuelled by the demand for drugs, the Mexican government is making efforts to protect major tourist destinations like Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Cozumel, Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta, and Nuevo Vallarta.
The FCDO added: “Crime and violence are serious problems in Mexico and the security situation can pose a risk for foreigners. Many Mexican and foreign businesses choose to hire private security.
“You should research your destination thoroughly and only travel during daylight hours when possible. Monitor local media and inform trusted contacts of your travel plans.”
A number of shootings and stabbings involving tourists have been reported in Mexico’s tourist areas, while Mexican officials have insisted that the resorts are safe for the vast majority of visitors.