US issues travel alert for Spring Breakers – NBC Chicago

The US State Department issued a travel alert on Wednesday for Americans planning to spend spring break in Mexico.

The alert warns travelers to “use extra caution,” especially after dark in Caribbean resorts like Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Tulum, which have been plagued by drug gang violence in the pass.

“U.S. citizens should exercise extra caution in the downtown areas of popular spring break spots, including Cancun, Playa Del Carmen and Tulum, particularly after dark,” the alert said.

The State Department also noted that US citizens “became seriously ill or died in Mexico after consuming synthetic drugs or counterfeit prescription pills.”

Travel advisories for Mexico follow a consistent format that helps US citizens find safety information about a specific country.

The warning follows reports that some Mexican pharmacies offer free sedatives and other drugs that can only be sold by prescription in the United States. Mexican pills are often counterfeit and contain fentanyl, a deadly synthetic opioid.

The alert also noted that “unregulated alcohol can be contaminated, and U.S. citizens have reported losing consciousness or injury after consuming alcohol that may have been contaminated.”

There has been a series of brazen acts of violence along the Caribbean coast, the crown jewel of Mexico’s tourism industry.

In 2022, two Canadians were killed in Playa del Carmen, apparently due to debts between international drug and arms trafficking gangs.

In 2021, further south in the laid-back destination of Tulum, two tourists – one an India-born Californian travel blogger and the other German – were caught in the apparent crossfire of rival drug dealers and killed.

NBC Chicago

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