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U.S. State Department warning maps out unsafe areas of Mexico

February 09, 2012|By Mary Forgione | Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
  • Tourists take advantage of the beach in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. A new U.S. State Department travel warning says no advisory is in effect for this coastal town.
Tourists take advantage of the beach in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. A new U.S.… (Dario Lopez-Mills / Associated…)

The U.S. State Department issued a new state-by-state warning for travelers to Mexico that details the more violent areas of the country but also points out popular places such as Cabo San Lucas and Mexico City where travel advisories aren't in effect.

The warning announced Wednesday gives specific cities and states, with a map of the country, where gun battles and drug trafficking violence are likely to occur. Mexican tourism has been under a cloud for the last six years since gruesome killings related to drug cartels scared off visitors to many parts of the country.

Here are some of the areas cited in the warning (and here's the entire State Department announcement):

--There are no advisories in effect for Cabo San Lucas in southern Baja; Mexico City; San Miguel de Allende and Leon in southern Mexico; Cancun, Cozumel, Playa del Carmen, Riviera Maya and Tulum in Quintana Roo; the state of Oaxaca; and Merida and Chichen Itza in the Yucatan.

--Americans should "exercise caution," particularly at night, in Tijuana, where 34 U.S. citizens were killed in 2011, likely related to drug trafficking; the city of Monterrey in Nuevo Leon; and Mazatlan, a popular stop for cruise ships.

--U.S. residents should avoid traveling to the states of Chihuahua, Durango, San Luis Potosi, Sinaloa, parts of Sonora, Zacatecas and others. 

The warning, citing figures provided by the Mexican government, says 47,515 people were killed in drug-related violence in Mexico from Dec. 1, 2006, to Sept. 30, 2011.

The warning supersedes a prior one issued April 22.

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