By NAN Staff Writer
News Americas, WASHINGTON, D.C., Fri. Jan. 22, 2016: The U.S. government this week issued travel warnings against two Latin American nations, citing crime and high violence levels in both nations.
On January 15th, the U.S. Department of State issued a warning to U.S. citizens traveling to El Salvador, urging them to remain alert to their surroundings.
“U.S. citizens should remain alert to their surroundings, especially when entering or exiting their homes or hotels, cars, garages, schools, and workplaces. Whenever possible, travel in groups,” the State Department said.
On January 19th, the Department issued a similar warning to travelers to Mexico “due to threats to safety and security posed by organized criminal groups in the country.”
The warning came some 12 days after the arrest of Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman by Mexican authorities. Of particular safety concern are casinos, sports books, or other gambling establishments, and adult entertainment establishments in the states of Coahuila, Durango, Zacatecas, Aguascalientes, San Luis Potosi, Nuevo Leon, Tamaulipas, Jalisco, Colima and Nayarit.
“We recommend that you defer travel to the areas specifically identified in this Travel Warning and exercise extreme caution when traveling throughout the other areas for which advisories are in effect,” the advisory said.
Since January 2010, 38 U.S. citizens have been murdered in El Salvador. During the same time period, 449 U.S. citizens reported having their passports stolen, while others were victims of violent crimes.
The current murder rate in El Salvador is among the highest in the world, an annual rate of 103.1 murders per 100,000 citizens for 2015.
U.S. citizens have fallen victim to criminal activity, including homicide, gun battles, kidnapping, carjacking, and highway robbery in Mexico. The number of U.S. citizens reported to the Department of State as murdered in Mexico was 100 in 2014 and 103 in 2015.