USA issues travel warning for Mexican resort town Playa del Carmen

Playa del Carmen: Mexico Travel Alert Issued By US

The U.S. Embassy in Mexico has banned government employees from traveling to Playa del Carmen as a result of a "security threat", but the local governor's office said it's not aware of any threat to the popular beach resort. The embassy says in an alert posted on its website that it received information Wednesday about a "security threat" in that city and USA government employees are prohibited from going there.

USA government employees are now not allowed to travel to the area until further notice and some cruise lines have cancelled excursions that involve ferries in the area.

Late last month, an explosion on a ferry docked at a Playa del Carmen peer injured 25, including several U.S. citizens.

All tourism and economic activities in Playa del Carmen continue in a normal manner and hotel occupancy at the resort city was at 80 percent, said the statement.

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Asked about the new alert, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told ABC News that "we take our obligation to provide information to U.S. citizens seriously as evidenced by the clear, timely and reliable safety and security information we release worldwide". According to a statement issued by the Embassy at that time, undetonated explosive devices were found by Mexican law enforcement on March 1 on another ferry operated by the same company. A day earlier, a shooting at a music festival in Playa del Carmen left three foreigners and two Mexicans dead. "Contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate if you need assistance".

Playa del Carmen and other tourist regions have seen a surge in violence in recent months. The State Department's alert system puts it at a "Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution".

Last summer, the department also cautioned vacationers to be careful when drinking alcohol in Mexico.

The Canadian government has issued a new travel warning for a tourist hot spot in Mexico over a potential security threat. "While most of these homicides appeared to be targeted, criminal organization assassinations, turf battles between criminal groups have resulted in violent crime in areas frequented by US citizens".

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