US Embassy Issues Additional Security Alert for Playa del Carmen

Blooded victims were seen being treated at the scene after the explosion

The U.S. State Department advised travelers visiting the popular Mexico resort town Playa del Carmen to take extra precautions after the U.S. Embassy received an unspecified threat.

The embassy said late on Wednesday that, as a result of a "security threat", USA government employees are prohibited from traveling to Playa del Carmen and the US consular office in the city has been closed until further notice.

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.

Late last month, an explosion on a ferry docked at a Playa del Carmen peer injured 25, including several USA citizens.

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The embassy also warned citizens intending to travel to Playa del Carmen that they should purchase travel insurance that offers specific coverage in Mexico and includes medical evacuation.

This popular tourist destination has been under heightened alert after two un-detonated explosive devices were found attached to a tourist ferry, Barcos Caribe II, by Mexican law enforcement in Cozumel on March 1.

The U.S. government has offered no details regarding the nature of the perceived security threat, either publicly or to the state government. "Contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate if you need assistance".

Playa del Carmen, in the Riveria Maya just south of Cancun, and other tourist regions have seen a sharp uptick in violence in recent months. The State Department's alert system puts it at a "Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution".

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Quintana Roo Governor Carlos Joaquín González issued a statement last night in which he played down the security risks and said local officials did not know why the US had barred its employees from visiting the town.

Last summer, the department also cautioned vacationers to be careful when drinking alcohol in Mexico.

Mexico issued a statement late Wednesday, saying that Playa del Carmen remains safe. It specifically mentioned risks of traveling to certain parts due to the ongoing cartel violence and warned that US citizens have been the victims of violent crimes including homicide, kidnapping, carjacking, and robbery.

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