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Canadian government updates travel warning for north, western states of Mexico

The Canadian government has issued a new travel warning for Canadians traveling to northern and western states of Mexico.

The warning, which was valid on the government website as of January 7, states that citizens should avoid non-essential travel to the northern Mexican states Chihuahua, Coahuila (except the city of Saltillo), Durango, Nuevo León (except the city of Monterrey), Sinaloa (except the city of Mazatlán), Sonora (except the cities of Hermosillo and Guaymas/San Carlos) and Tamaulipas.

Northern states

We strongly recommend travelling to Mexico by air to avoid land border crossings, particularly in the northern states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León, Sonora and Tamaulipas.

In northern Mexico, particularly along the border with the United States, organized crime and urban violence greatly affect security. Confrontations between organized criminal groups and Mexican authorities continue to pose a problem. Shootouts, attacks and illegal roadblocks may occur without warning.

Avoid inter-city road travel in the northern states. Heavily armed gangs have attacked travelers driving through the state of Tamaulipas and on several highways in the states of Coahuila, Durango, Nuevo León and Sinaloa. Criminals especially target sport utility vehicles and full-size pickup trucks for theft and carjacking along highways.

In the city of Monterrey, avoid travelling outside the suburb of San Pedro or other well-populated areas after evening rush hour.

Western states

The travel warning adds the western Mexican states of Guerrero (including the city of Acapulco, but excluding the cities of Ixtapa, Taxco and Zihuatanejo) and the state of Michoacán (excluding the city of Morelia).

Criminal activity is high in the states of Colima, Guerrero, Jalisco, Michoacán and Nayarit. Illegal roadblocks and demonstrations are common. The deterioration of the security situation is particularly noticeable in the rural areas of Guerrero and Michoacán. Vigilante militias have fired at vehicles that did not stop at their roadblocks.

The government of Canada issued the travel alert noting the state’s danger due to growing criminal activity and little response from the authorities for the arrest of criminals.

Crime rates in Mexico are high. Arrest and detention rates are low and contribute to higher levels of criminality. The level of crime in resorts and major tourist cities and destinations is relatively low compared to the national average.

The Canadian government adds, “More than 2.1 million Canadians travel to Mexico each year, the vast majority of them without incident.” The state of Quintana Roo, home to global beach destinations including Cancun and Riviera Maya were not part of the travel warning.