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Mexico urges US to issue better travel warnings

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Mazatlan high rises face the Pacific Ocean. Photo: Getty

U.S. travel advisories have been overly broad, unnecessarily scaring away potential American tourists planning to visit safe areas, Mexico’s tourism ministry says.

For example, the State Department warns travelers they could be kidnapped or attacked in Colima, Guerrero, Michoacán, Sinaloa, Tamaulipas and Zacatecas. But danger zones are in pockets, not uniformly sweeping across entire states.

Current travel advisories rule out spots on the map where tourists are generally safe. Michoacán is home to the monarch butterfly reserve, for example. Expat-friendly Mazatlán is in Sinaloa.

After a Zoom meeting between Mexico’s Tourism Minister Miguel Torruco; the country’s U.S. Ambassador Esteban Moctezuma; state tourism ministers; and U.S. State Department officials, these sweeping advisories may change, reports Mexico News Daily. Talks on revisions to how the State Department describes risks to travelers have been ongoing since May.

During a trip to Washington, D.C., in May, Turruco suggested that travel alerts should “detail the areas that could represent problems and not generalize, as some isolated cases of insecurity are numerous kilometers from tourism destinations,” according to a press release issued by his agency.

Foreign Affairs Minister Marcelo Ebrard — a probably future candidate for Mexico’s presidency — said that Mexico has “never agreed with the alerts” because they are imposed unilaterally by the United States.

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