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USA closes consulate in Playa del Carmen, over 'security threat'

Event: On March 7, the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City received information about a security threat in Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, Mexico.

After receiving "information about a security threat", the United States Embassy announced in an emergency alert Wednesday night that the Consular Agency located in Playa del Carmen in the state of Quitana Roo will be closed "until further notice".

The embassy said it had "received information about a security threat" on Wednesday.

Specific details about the threat were not released, but the embassy advised US citizens in Playa del Carmen to be aware of their surroundings and to exercise caution.

Three Canadians were among 26 people injured when an explosion ripped through a tourist ferry in Playa del Carmen as it unloaded passengers on February 21. The incident injured 25 people, including two Americans.

Both federal and state officials continue to investigate the incidents.

The Canadian advisory warns travellers "to exercise a high degree of caution in Playa del Carmen" and avoid taking tourist ferries. "While most of these homicides appeared to be targeted, criminal organization assassinations, turf battles between criminal groups have resulted in violent crime in areas frequented by USA citizens".

US government employees are not allowed to travel between cities after dark in many parts of Mexico. It also advised US citizens to purchase travel insurance which includes medical evacuation. They are Colima, Guerrero, Michoacan, Sinaloa, and Tamaulipas.

Last summer, the department also cautioned vacationers to be careful when drinking alcohol in Mexico.

Violence related to organized crime has been on the rise in Mexico since 2017, including at popular tourist destinations in the state of Quintana Roo, such as Playa del Carmen and Cancun.

Travelers have also reported being "sexually assaulted, beaten, robbed, taken to jail and mistreated at local hospitals", according to an investigation by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, which also found that travelers encounter indifferent, and at times hostile, resort workers, police and hospital staff.

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