Burning cars, firefights, threats to critical infrastructure like airports: Canada is warning Canadian tourists in Mexico's Sinaloa state to exercise a high degree of caution and seek refuge.
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“Exercise a high degree of caution in Mexico due to high crime rates and kidnapping risks,” the Government of Canada said on its website.
Since the arrest of a cartel leader on Thursday, security operations have been launched in response to widespread violence in Sinaloa state, particularly in Culiacán, Mazatlan, Los Mochis and Guasave.
The Canadian government has thus issued an alert to the utmost caution for its citizens who are currently in Sinaloa, inviting them to take refuge, limit their movements and avoid places where demonstrations or large gatherings are taking place.
Tourists should expect an increased number of security forces, the government has warned.
“Contact your airline or travel agency to modify your travel arrangements as needed, monitor local media to stay informed of developments [and] follow the directives of local authorities,” it said. he added on his site.
Culiacán and Mazatlán airports have also been closed and all flights to and from Los Mochis airport are suspended until further notice.
In all regions of Mexico, levels of crime, particularly violent crime, are high. Arrest and detention rates are low and do not deter criminal groups, including drug cartels.
"Clashes between cartels or gangs over territory, drugs, and smuggling routes are common, resulting in a high level of violence," the statement read.