In the strongest travel advisory to date, the U.S Department of State is advising American tourists to avoid five Mexican states and to reconsider visits to 11 others. While State does not mention cartels being directly responsible for the violence, the locations listed continue to see organized bloodshed.

The five states that U.S. tourists should avoid are Tamaulipas, Michoacan, Sinaloa, Colima, and Guerrero, due to widespread murders, kidnappings, carjackings, and robbery, the new travel advisory revealed. Guerrero is home to the popular beach resort of Acapulco, while Sinaloa is home to the famed port city of Mazatlan, a global hub.

Tourists are warned to stay away due to widespread gang activity, including gun battles. The notice claims that murder, armed robberies, carjackings, kidnappings, extortion, and sexual assault are common occurrences in those areas.

In the case of Tamaulipas, the State Department mentions the targeting of passenger buses by gunmen who kidnap travelers for ransom. Though the term “cartel” is not used, the actions described are carried out regularly by either the Gulf Cartel or Los Zetas.

The warning follows a new system where the State Department grades the security conditions from 1 to 4, marking elevated levels of danger. Mexico as a country is labeled as a 2–tourists are warned to exercise increased caution due to a high level of crime.

Under Level 3, tourists are asked to reconsider their trip due to widespread violent crime where local law enforcement has limited capability to prevent respond.

The states where tourists are asked to reconsider their travel include Chihuahua, Coahuila, Durango, Mexico state, Jalisco, Morelos, Nayarit, Nuevo Leon, San Luis Potosi, Sonora, and Zacatecas.

Ildefonso Ortiz is an award-winning journalist with Breitbart Texas. He co-founded the Cartel Chronicles project with Brandon Darby and Stephen K. Bannon. You can follow him on Twitter and on Facebook. He can be contacted at [email protected].

Brandon Darby is managing director and editor-in-chief of Breitbart Texas. He co-founded the Cartel Chronicles project with Ildefonso Ortiz and Stephen K. Bannon. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook. He can be contacted at [email protected].

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