This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

The US State Department issued a new travel warning for Mexico on Wednesday night after authorities found eight dead bodies in the popular resort town Cancun within the span of a few days.

The Riveria Maya News reports that two of the bodies — an unidentified man and woman — were found in the trunk of a cab at a shopping mall in the wee hours of Monday morning. The bodies of two other unidentified men were found dismembered and placed in plastic bags on Rancho Viejo Avenue in the city, according to the AP.

On Tuesday, Mexican authorities found a fifth body of a man who had been bound and shot. Another fatal gunshot victim was discovered covered in a plastic bag, and a seventh man was murdered in a hammock. The eighth murder victim was found decapitated in the city’s Tres Reyes neighborhood, Newsweek reports.

The new travel alert is a level two warning, which means visitors should “exercise increased caution due to crime.”

“Violent crime, such as homicide, kidnapping, carjacking, and robbery, is widespread,” the State Department warning says. “The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in many areas of Mexico as U.S. government employees are prohibited from travel to these areas.”

The popular resort areas of Cancun, Cozumel, Playa del Carmen, Tulum and Riviera Maya are located in the state of Quintana Roo. None of this week’s eight murders in Cancun were directly located in the city’s beachfront hotel district.

“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 U.S. citizens,” the State Department alert says. “Shooting incidents injuring or killing bystanders have occurred.”

A Federal police officer stands on guard at the area where at least five people including a ministerial police officer were killed in Puerto Juarez, Cancun, Quintana Roo State, Mexico, on July 27, 2018. - A journalist was murdered Tuesday in southeast Mexico, not far from tourist hotspot Cancun, the government said -- the seventh such killing this year in one of the world
A Federal police officer stands on guard at the area where at least five people including a ministerial police officer were killed in Puerto Juarez, Cancun, on July 27, 2018.

The alert lists the following areas in Mexico as a level four “do not travel” warning due to crime: Colima state, Guerrero state, Michoacán state, Sinaloa state and Tamaulipas state. In these areas, the State Department says violent gang activity is widespread, as are gun battles, “armed robbery, carjacking, kidnapping, extortion, and sexual assault.”

The alert warns US citizens that in these areas, roadblocks by criminals are common and law enforcement has limited capability to respond. “Armed criminal groups target public and private passenger buses traveling through Tamaulipas, often taking passengers hostage and demanding ransom payments,” the alert says.

For tourists who are traveling to Mexico, the State Department recommends travelers use toll roads when possible and avoid driving at night. Visitors should also avoid displaying signs of wealth, such as wearing expensive watches or jewelry and be extra vigilant when visiting banks or ATMs.

US citizens can also enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive alerts from the State Department. The program also makes it easier for officials to locate you in an emergency.

Earlier this year, Cancun had a particularly gruesome stretch that saw 14 murders in 36 hours in April. That was the city’s most violent window of time since 2004, the New York Post reports. Back in March, the US Consular Agency in Playa del Carmen was closed due to an unspecified “security threat” in the resort town. At the same time, the US Embassy in Mexico had issued a security alert, which barred all US government employees from traveling to Playa del Carmen. Those alerts have since been lifted.

Featured image by ULISES RUIZ/AFP/Getty Images.

The best beginner points and miles card out there.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

With great travel benefits, 2x points on travel & dining and a 50,000 point sign up bonus, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great card for those looking to get into the points and miles game. Here are the top 5 reasons it should be in your wallet, or read our definitive review for more details.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred named "Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption" - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, June 2018
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
17.99% - 24.99% Variable
Annual Fee
$0 Intro for the First Year, then $95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.