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Misleading media claim false travel warning to Cancun

Cancun, Q.R. — On August 22, the US State Department in Mexico City updated their travel alert for Mexico specifically naming three states on the Pacific coast and one along the US border area.

Once the alert was released, numerous media jumped on board with headlines claiming grisly Cancun deaths were the reason for the updates, however, the Tourism Promotion Council of Quintana Roo calls the headlines false and misleading.

Media outlets such as USA Today says State Department orders travel advisory for Mexico after 8 bodies found in Cancun. Numerous others followed suit such as 6ABC and AL who also ran similar headlines while later stating in their article that one has nothing to do with the other.

Media site 6ABC ran a piece on the travel warning 8 bodies discovered in grisly slayings in Cancun, Mexico; US tourists cautioned, later saying “The State Department urges Americans traveling to the area to exercise increased caution, but it hasn’t updated its travel advisory because of the deaths, despite several press reports saying otherwise.”

Al.com, a site out of Alabama, was another media outlet who claimed in their headline that US issues travel advisory after 8 bodies found on streets of Cancun, then went on to say “The U.S. State Department on Wednesday issued an updated travel advisory for Mexico after the news of the bodies was announced, advising travelers to “exercise increased caution in Mexico due to crime.”

“While other news outlets have reported that the travel advisory was issued because of the killings in Cancun, a State Department spokesman said Thursday that the updated advisory was related to a security alert by the U.S. Consulate in Ciudad Juarez, in a different state than Quintana Roo.”

Longtime area resident Marla Schaeffer said that it’s the same finger-pointing as usual with countries like the US who just won’t admit that their own crime figures are also out of control.

She says that grisly crimes are occurring everywhere around the globe and that pointing the finger at a neighboring country is nothing more than a ploy to take the focus off them. She also says that the outlets who reported the misleading Cancun travel warnings obviously did not do their homework since the state of Quintana Roo was never part of the named states and had nothing to do with Cancun.

“It’s irresponsible journalism,” she said. “Nothing more than hype. You cannot point a finger when people in your own country are also dying in criminal drug wars, gangs and shootings that involve families, disgruntled employees and school students.”

“Those misleading headlines trying to use Cancun as the “reason” makes as much sense as saying crime in the city of Los Angeles has increased so nobody should travel to the city of New York,” she added.

After USA Today ran their piece they added a correction, “Corrections & Clarifications: An earlier version incorrectly identified the area of Mexico the travel advisory was issued,” further down saying “The State Department issued a travel advisory Wednesday warning American citizens headed to Mexico to use caution in several states.

“The advisory comes the same week eight bodies were discovered in Cancun, a tourist hub, but the travel warning does not refer to the Quintana Roo/Cancun area.”

The updated travel advisory issued by the US State Department in Mexico City was for the states of Colima, Guerrero, Michoacán, Sinaloa in the North Pacific and Tamaulipas, a US border state. Cancun, which is in the state of Quintana Roo, is located near Atlantic waters in the Caribbean Sea.

The Tourism Promotion Council of Quintana Roo, Dario Flota, denied the travel warning pointing out that the news is misleading and issued the following statement:

“We are aware of recent media reports that falsely claim that the US Department of State has issued a new travel notice for Mexico due to a recent event in the state of Quintana Roo.

“There is no new travel notice for Quintana Roo from the State Department. Currently there are zero travel warnings from the US Department of State against any destination in the state of Quintana Roo and there are no travel warnings against any international tourist destination in Mexico.

Misleading media claim false travel warning to Cancun

Sometimes, the US Embassy has issued safety alerts or the US Department of State has updated its travel advisory page for Mexico, but at no time in 2018 has there been any travel warning against traveling to any of the international tourist destinations in Mexico.

“These misleading media reports have been reprinted in numerous articles, many of which further spread misinformation about the travel notice from the US Department of State for Mexico.

“Unfortunately, there have been episodes of violence among criminals in remote areas of Quintana Roo and in other parts of Mexico. The truth is that the vast majority of crimes in Mexico do not occur in areas frequented by international tourists and the vast majority of incidents involve only Mexican citizens.”