Editor’s note: this post previously stated that the travel advisory was issued Wednesday, August 22. The State Department had actually revised a standing travel advisory for Mexico, and Wednesday issued an update.
Americans have been advised to be cautious when traveling to Mexico, as “some areas have increased risk.” Authorities also recently found eight bodies in Cancun, a popular summer destination among U.S. citizens. Travelers are to exercise “increased caution in Mexico due to crime,” according to a State Department advisory updated Wednesday.
On Tuesday, authorities discovered eight bodies in the Cancun area, two of whom — a man and a woman — were found in the trunk of an abandoned taxi. Two others were found dismembered in plastic bags at another location, according to Time magazine.
A fifth victim was found bound and fatally shot, while another was found dead in a hammock. The seventh victim was discovered in a plastic bag with fatal shotgun wounds. Details about the eighth body were not immediately made available, according to the Time report.
Fox News reported that the taxi driver fled the car before police arrived. Further details regarding the slayings, including whether the deaths were related, were not released.
None of the killings took place in the city’s beach-side hotel zone.
“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. Shooting incidents injuring or killing bystanders have occurred,” the advisory states.
Citing statistics by the government of Mexico, the advisory contends that the state of Quintana Roo, where Cancun is located, is experiencing an increase in homicide rates compared to the same period in 2016. Other tourist areas in the state include Cozumel, Playa del Carmen, Tulum, and the Riviera Maya.
The advisory warns that violent crime, such as homicide, kidnapping, carjacking, and robbery, is widespread in the country, and advises travelers to refrain from going to the states of Colima, Guerrero, Michoacan, Sinaloa, and Tamaulipas.
In April of this year, Mexican authorities found five bodies in a silver Mazda sedan in Cancun. As the Daily Mail reported, the deaths were likely connected to drugs, as drug cartel war spills into tourist areas. Drug-related violence has reportedly been spiraling out of control in Cancun recently, with gang violence claiming more than 100 lives this year, according to the Daily Mail report.
Earlier in April, men on water skis fired at least four bullets at a beach vendor in the city’s hotel bustling district. Two days earlier, three men were shot dead at a bar, and yet another body riddled with bullets washed up on a popular tourist beach.