The U.S. State Department has issued a travel alert for the Mexican Resort City of Playa del Carmen.
The alert included an indefinite ban on travel to Playa del Carmen by US government employees. The report comes just as schools and universities prepare for spring break.
A bomb went off on February 21 on a ferry that plies the waters between the popular tourist destination of Playa del Carmen, a town on the mainland south of Cancun, and the island of Cozumel.
Following the explosion, Mexican authorities found undetonated explosive devices aboard a different ferry on March 1.
Well... That sounds intimidating.
The State Department is warning of a security threat but is not elaborating on what kind of threat it is. A State Department official is quoted as saying the alert's primary goal is to warn, "of specific safety and security concerns in a country, such as demonstrations, crime trends and weather events", according to the Washington Post.
Aside from Playa Del Carmen, the U.S. State Department has warned travelers to avoid five Mexican states due to crime. You can also enroll in their Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security updates. In this case, the nearest embassy services would be 175 miles away, in Mérida. It remained at Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution for Mexico. As of Thursday night, the Canada site stated that Canadian visitors should "continue to exercise a high degree of caution in Playa del Carmen".
What's Mexico saying about all this?
Mexican officials said the city is safe, despite the USA alert.
"We do not know why the USA government made a decision to emit this alert", the state government said.
The Mexico Tourism Board insists Playa del Carmen is safe. The Mexican Tourism Board told "CBS This Morning" that the USA security alert implies "safety issues without any basis in fact".
The U.S. Embassy did not mention a specific plot targeting Americans, but Olson believes issuing the security alert was the right call.
Another explosive device was found a few days later, causing both American and US government officials to warn their citizens about taking the ferries and to recommend they exercise caution in the area.