The Department of State of the United States published this Tuesday the updates in its Travel Alerts with the aim of protecting US citizens abroad.
Mexico is on said list with six entities that the government of President Joe Biden asks not to visit given the high risk that exists due to the levels of insecurity and violence.
These are: Colima, Guerrero, Michoacán, Sinaloa, Tamaulipas and Zacatecas, destinations where drug cartels are based. Even on the interactive map they appear in red.
However, there are seven other states that the US is asking to reconsider visiting for the same reasons:
And it is pointed out that in these destinations there is limited capacity to provide assistance to their compatriots.
“Violent crime, such as homicide, kidnapping, carjacking, and robbery, is widespread and common in Mexico. The US government has a limited ability to provide emergency services […] Travel by US government employees to certain areas is prohibited or restricted,” the statement read.
“US government employees cannot travel between cities after dark, cannot hail taxis on the street, and must rely on dispatched vehicles […] US government employees should avoid traveling alone, especially in remote areas. US government employees are not allowed to drive from the border”
In this regard, the US ambassador to Mexico, Ken Salazar, acknowledged through his Twitter account that, although shared work on security is advancing, both countries “need to do more.”
“In the case of Mexico, these alerts are not made in a general way as a country, but for each state, so sometimes the security situation and the recommendations for US citizens focus on specific locations, that is, that can refer to certain places and do not necessarily reflect the situation of the entire state”, the diplomat clarified.
On August 17, the US ambassador stated that arms trafficking from the US to Mexico is an urgent problem for the government of President Joe Biden.
“The flow of guns to Mexico is a problem that we recognize from the United States on behalf of President Biden; So, we are carrying out an effort of which I am part, this to do everything that can be done to reduce the flow of arms that arrive from the United States”, he declared from Querétaro.
Given the violence generated by weapons entering the country, he assured that since 2022 there is a new law in the United States where people who are involved in arms trafficking are severely punished.
According to the Attorney General’s Office (FGR), from January 2020 to December 2022, 62,246 weapons were seized: mainly in the border states of Baja California and Chihuahua.
While the US authorities only seized 4,121 weapons in the same period, according to their official figures.
For this reason, last April the US agreed to create a special group focused on monitoring from its territory the departure of weapons to its neighbor to the south.