US Embassy Issues Additional Security Alert for Playa del Carmen

Playa del Carmen: Mexico Travel Alert Issued By US

The government of the Caribbean coast state of Quintana Roo said that President Enrique Pena Nieto was scheduled to attend an ocean conservation conference in Playa del Carmen on Thursday.

While these groups don't usually target tourists, the advisory says "armed clashes" between criminals and security forces can occur without warning and Canadians could be "caught in the crossfire".

There were 25 people injured in the explosion, the director of Civil Protection for Playa del Carmen told ABC News.

As the Canadian government notes, violence as a result of organized crime had increased in 2017, including the areas in and around Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Los Cabos.

This popular tourist destination has been under heightened alert after two un-detonated explosive devices were found attached to a tourist ferry, Barcos Caribe II, by Mexican law enforcement in Cozumel on March 1.

The warning came after the USA embassy in Mexico issued its own alert advising Americans of a potential security threat in the country's popular tourist destination area.

Candles and condolence messages are seen outside the Blue Parrot nightclub in Playa del Carmen Mexico

After that, the U.S. Embassy barred employees from taking ferries between Playa del Carmen and Cozumel Island, one of the world's busiest cruise ship ports of call. The State Department also warned Americans to "exercise caution".

On Wednesday, Mexican officials said Playa del Carmen is safe despite the US security alert. "Avoid tourist ferries travelling in the region until further notice, be vigilant and monitor local media (including social media)".

Last week four gunmen burst into a hospital in Cancun and shot to death a drug gang suspect and his wife.

The U.S. embassy did not specify the threat or say if it was related to the February 21 blast or the subsequent discovery of apparent explosives attached to another vessel.

While the state department, members of Congress - both Republican and Democrat - as well as travel websites and Mexican authorities vow they are making changes and doing what they can to ensure the safety of travelers, their slow, bureaucratic efforts have yet to prevent the harms, the Journal Sentinel found.

The Quintana Roo state government said, "All tourism and economic activity in Playa del Carmen continues in a normal manner".

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