Canada adds Playa del Carmen to Mexican travel advisory

Security Alert - U. S. Embassy Mexico City, Mexico (March 7, 2018) | U.S. Embassy & Consulates in Mexico

The U.S. Embassy in Mexico has issued a new travel alert for the Caribbean resort city of Playa del Carmen, where an explosion on a tourist ferry injured 26 people last month.

"Avoid tourist ferries travelling in the region until further notice, be vigilant and monitor local media (including social media)", the advisory said.

The State Department is also recommending travelers purchase travel insurance that specifically covers Mexico and includes medical evacuation insurance.

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.

"Our priority is the safety and security of US citizens overseas", the official, who spoke on background, said Thursday in an email.

On Feb 21, an explosive device went off on a popular tourist ferry in Playa del Carmen and injured more than 20 people.

The Canadian government said Mexican authorities located another explosive device on a ferry also operating out of Playa del Carmen on Mar.1.

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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.

After that incident, the embassy prohibited US government employees from using all tourist ferries.

Earlier this year, the State Department rolled out a new tiered travel advisory system to warn USA citizens of potential dangers while traveling overseas.

According to the embassy's website, travelers should be "aware of their surroundings" and "exercise caution".

"We do not know the reason for the decision of the USA government to issue this statement", the office said, adding that it is ready to cooperate with the U.S.to ensure the safety of USA tourists.

The Quintana Roo Government issued a statement after the advisory was put in place saying that tourists will continue to be welcome. "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 USA citizens".

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