In the wake of increased drug violence in Acapulco, where a group of innocent women in a beauty parlor were murdered and their throats slit last week, the U.S. State Department has increased its warnings about travel in Mexico, expanding its security alerts to much of the central part of the country.
Besides warning Americans to stay out of all of the northern border states, where most of the 35,000 drug related murders have occurred in the past four years, the State Department has advised against dangerous road travel in most of the areas encompassing Mexico’s Pacific Coast resorts—Mazatlan, Ixtapa, Zihuatanejo, and Acapulco, as well as the inland city of Cuernavaca, a popular destination for American language students, and the area encompassing metropolitan Guadalajara.
Focusing on Acapulco, the State Department advisory reports that “Downtown Acapulco and surrounding areas have seen a significant increase in narcotics-related violence in the last year. Incidents have included daylight gunfights and murders of law enforcement personnel and some have resulted in the deaths of innocent bystanders.” It warns further that “due to the unpredictable nature of this violence, you should exercise extreme caution when visiting downtown Acapulco. Tourists should not visit the downtown area at night and should remain in clearly identifiable tourist areas.”
According to Time Magazine, “The murders of five women in Acapulco on Saturday (April 23) are the most recent incident of violence in this beach resort town. Four adult women and one 14-year-old girl were found partially clothed with their throats cut. The adult women were believed to have worked at a beauty salon where three of the bodies were found. Mexican police have not given a motive for the crimes.”
The most recent U.S travel advisories specify the dangers of road travel in most of Mexico’s states, and they have noted also that all official U.S. government employees and their families have been advised to stay off certain stretches of highway in central areas of the country. One of these warnings has reported that due to the activity of TCO’s (transnational criminal organizations), “You should exercise extreme caution when traveling…between Guadalajara airport and the Guadalajara metropolitan areas.”
To date, the Canadian government warnings about travel in Mexico have mostly been focused on the northern border states, although they have mentioned Acapulco as an area in which to exercise extreme caution.