US issues alarming warning for travel to popular Mexican tourist city

Mexican officials said the city of Playa Del Carmen is safe despite an emergency alert from the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City barring government employees from traveling to the popular resort town.

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.”

It also required U.S. government officials cease traveling to the city “immediately,” according to the alert.

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MEXICO - 2011/12/23: Street scene of 5th Avenue in Playa del Carmen on the Riviera Maya near Cancun in the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico. (Photo by Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images)
MEXICO - 2011/12/23: View of a house and beach at Playacar in Playa del Carmen on the Riviera Maya near Cancun in the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico. (Photo by Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images)
MEXICO - 2011/12/20: Waves crashing on a white sand beach during a storm along the east coast of the Yucat� Peninsula on the Caribbean Sea at Playa del Carmen on the Riviera Maya near Cancun in the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico. (Photo by Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images)
MEXICO - 2011/12/23: Street scene with colorful souvenir sombreros for sale at a store on 5th Avenue in Playa del Carmen on the Riviera Maya near Cancun in the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico. (Photo by Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images)
MEXICO - 2011/12/19: People on a white sand beach at Playa del Carmen on the Riviera Maya near Cancun along the east coast of the Yucat� Peninsula on the Caribbean Sea in the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico. (Photo by Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images)
MEXICO - 2011/12/20: Close-up of Bougainvillea flowers in Playa del Carmen on the Riviera Maya near Cancun in the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico. (Photo by Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images)
PLAYA DEL CARMEN, MEXICO - APRIL 27: General view of atmosphere is seen at the red carpet and the screening of the film 'To The Wonder' during the last day of the second Riviera Maya Film Festival 2013 at Parque Fundadores on April 27, 2013 in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. (Photo by Victor Chavez/WireImage)
People having fun at disco, Mandala Night Club, Playa Del Carmen, Riviera Maya, Mexico
Playa Mamitas is a beach located in Playa del Carmen.. (Photo by: Fredo de Luna/VW PICS/UIG via Getty Images)
MEXICO - 2008/12/29: Mexico, Near Cancun, Playa Del Carmen, 5th Avenue Street Scene, Restaurant. (Photo by Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Beach at Playa del Carmen and ferry terminal to Cozumel at the background . Caribe. Quintana Roo state. Mayan Riviera. Yucatan Peninsula. Mexico (Photo by: myLoupe/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
Halbinsel Playa del Carmen/Mexico/Mittelamerika 08.12.2001, Reise, K�ste, Meer, Strand, H�tte, (Photo by Peter Bischoff/Getty Images)
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The Embassy did not specify whether the threat is related to a recent explosion aboard a ferry boat, which links the tourist hotspot to the town of Cozumel.

At least five Americans and 19 Mexicans were injured in the February blast, prompting the U.S. Embassy to forbid government employees from traveling on all similar water vessels.

A subsequent probe earlier this month also uncovered undetonated explosives on a different tourist ferry boat owned by the same company. Both incidents are under investigation.

 

Mexican officials on Thursday however, insisted Playa Del Carmen was safe, noting President Enrique Pena Nieto is scheduled to attend an ocean conservation conference there later in the day.

“All tourism activity in Playa del Carmen continues in a normal manner,” the state government said in a statement, noting hotel occupancy is around 80%.

“We do not know why the U.S. government decided to emit this alert.”

With News Wire Services

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