Tourism Leaders Criticize Adding Cozumel to Mexico Travel Warning

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Business and tourism leaders in Mexico are criticizing the newly updated State Department travel warning that was released earlier this week.

According to Riviera Maya News, Eduardo Carlos Gonzalez Cid, president of the Confederation of Employers of the Mexican Republic, said he will call the U.S. consulate to request that the island of Cozumel be removed from the travel warning. Business leaders have also written letters to contacts in the United States requesting that the island be removed, as well as to cruise ships and airlines arguing that the municipality does not have a record of homicides.

Similarly, Quintana Roo Tourism Secretary Marisol Venegas Perez said in a press release that Cozumel has not seen any increase in homicides, as had been reported by the State Department.

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The State Department updated its travel warning August 22, replacing an earlier warning issued December 8, 2016, to include information on kidnappings, as well as rising homicide rates and drug-related violence. The new travel warning marked the first time the state of Quintana Roo, which includes popular tourist destinations Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Tulum, Riviera Maya and Cozumel, had been called out. In the updated warning the State Department cited an increase in homicide rates as a result of targeted assassinations by criminal organizations, as well as turf battles that have resulted in violent crime in areas frequented by U.S. citizens and shooting incidents that have injured or killed innocent bystanders.

The updated travel warning also included major tourist areas such as Los Cabos, Acapulco, Puerto Vallarta and the Riviera Nayarit coast. Other areas, such as San Miguel de Allende, Mexico City, Puebla, and the Yucatan (including Merida and Chichen Itza) were exempt.

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