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US issues Mexico travel warning ahead of spring break

The U.S. posted a range of potential threats for Americans traveling to Mexico, including crime, drugs and sexual assault.
US issues Mexico travel warning ahead of spring break
Posted at 1:40 PM, Feb 29, 2024

The U.S. has issued a travel warning for Mexico ahead of spring break.

The U.S. Embassy & Consulates in Mexico posted a range of potential threats for Americans traveling to the country, including crime, drugs and sexual assault.

It said travelers should be aware that crime can occur anywhere in Mexico, especially in tourist destinations.

"Travelers should maintain a high level of situational awareness, avoid areas where illicit activities occur, and promptly depart from potentially dangerous situations," said the advisory. "U.S. citizens should exercise increased caution in the downtown areas of popular spring break locations including Cancun, Playa Del Carmen, and Tulum, especially after dark."

The advisory also issued a warning about alcohol and pharmaceuticals in the country. It said unregulated alcohol in Mexico could be contaminated, as some U.S. citizens have reported "losing consciousness or becoming injured after consuming alcohol that was possibly tainted."

The same was said for pharmaceuticals, as counterfeit medication is common in the country. The drugs could be the wrong strength or contain dangerous ingredients. The U.S. says medication should be purchased in consultation with a medical professional and from reputable establishments.

The U.S. also cautioned that drug possession and use in Mexico, including marijuana, is illegal and could result in a lengthy jail sentence.

"U.S. citizens have become seriously ill or died in Mexico after using synthetic drugs or adulterated prescription pills," said the advisory.

The message also warned that U.S. citizens have been victims of rape and sexual assault in Mexico, warning that perpetrators "may target inebriated or isolated individuals or may employ drugs that alter the victim's physical or mental state."

The advisory further cautioned against activity in Mexico that could result in an arrest, including drunk and disorderly behavior, public urination, open alcohol containers in vehicles, and gun possession — which includes even small amounts of ammunition.

The U.S. offered some safety tips for travelers to behave responsibly, watch their drinks, and stay with a group of friends who keep your safety in mind.

The U.S. also said to stay mindful of warning flags at beaches, and avoid swimming with strong undercurrents or rip tides to prevent injuries or drownings. 

In the event of a medical emergency, the U.S. suggests travelers ensure their health insurance includes care in Mexico or purchase travel insurance.

Click here for the full travel advisory.

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