|By Silvia Ayuso, dpa,
BerlinMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Nov. 20, 2012--WASHINGTON -- The US State Department renewed Tuesday its travel warning for Mexico, due to drug-related violence and kidnappings.
"Crime and violence are serious problems throughout the country and can occur anywhere," the US State Department warned.
It cited official Mexican figures that say that 47,515 people were killed in narcotics-related violence in the country between December 1, 2006 and September 30, 2011.
"While most of those killed in narcotics-related violence have been members of TCOs (transnational criminal organizations), innocent persons have also been killed," the State Department said.
The warning was renewed barely 10 days before Mexican President Felipe Calderon leaves office, and just one week before US President Barack Obama is to host Mexican president-elect Enrique Pena Nieto at the White House on November 27.
The statement asks US citizens to "defer non-essential travel" to all or portions of the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Durango, Nuevo Leon, San Luis Potosi, Sinaloa, Sonora, Tamaulipas, Zacatecas, Aguascalientes, Colima, Guerrero, Jalisco, Michoacan and Nayarit.
It largely excludes major urban areas and advises just caution for Monterrey, for example, while still asking US citizens to defer travel to Ciudad Juarez and Chihuahua City.
It also spares major tourist destinations including the Riviera Maya and Acapulco, although it advises US citizens to travel there by plane rather than on roads.
"Resort areas and tourist destinations in Mexico generally do not see the levels of drug-related violence and crime reported in the border region and in areas along major trafficking routes," the statement said.
The State Department said that 113 US citizens were murdered in Mexico "under all circumstances" in 2011 and a further 32 were killed in the first half of this year.
(c)2012 Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH (Hamburg, Germany)
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