US Closes Consular Agency in Playa del Carmen Due to Security Threat

Mar 8, 2018

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The US has closed a consular agency in a popular resort area of Mexico over a security threat.

The US Embassy in Mexico issued a security alert on Wednesday that bars US government employees from traveling to Playa del Carmen. The Embassy says it received information about a security threat in the area.

Located on the Eastern Coast of Mexico, Playa del Carmen is filled with resorts and is near other frequented tourist destinations like Cancun and Cozumel.

Although the embassy did not provide any details on the threat, there was a bombing on a passenger ferry that runs between Playa del Carmen and Cozumel in February, which injured 25 people, including two Americans. Another explosive device was found on another ferry just a week later. Investigations are ongoing, and it’s unclear as to the reasons for the explosions.

Federal police officers and army soldiers arrive at the dock where an explosion occurred on a ferry in Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo state, Mexico on February 21, 2018.An explosion, apparently caused by a mechanical failure, on a ferry that runs between the touristic Playa del Carmen and the island of Cozumel, in the Mexican Caribbean, left three Canadians and 15 Mexicans injured on Wednesday, local authorities reported. / AFP PHOTO / STR (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)
Federal police officers and army soldiers arrive at the dock where an explosion occurred on a ferry in Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo state, Mexico on February 21, 2018. (Photo by STR/AFP/Getty Images)

 

“We take our obligation to provide information to U.S. citizens seriously as evidenced by the clear, timely, and reliable safety and security information we release worldwide,” State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert told ABC News. The State Department will share “important updates when information becomes available.”

The US Consular Agency will be closed and US government employee travel restricted to the area until further notice.

The State Department has Mexico’s travel advisory at “Level 2: Exercise increased caution.” There are four levels of travel advisory, with Level 1 advising to exercise normal precautions, and the most severe is the “Level 4: Do not travel” advisory.

A high-profile shooting at a Playa Del Carmen nightclub in 2017 killed five people, including one American. The State Department has issued cautionary messages after multiple reports of tainted alcohol at resorts in Playa del Carmen and Cancun.

The embassy recommends three actions to take if you’re in Playa Del Carmen:

  • Be aware of your surroundings and exercise caution.
  • Purchase travel insurance that specifically covers you in Mexico and includes medical evacuation insurance.
  • Contact the nearest US Embassy or Consulate if you need assistance.

H/T: ABC News

Featured image by STR/AFP/Getty Images.

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