U.S. Closes Consular Agency in Mexico over Security Threat

The United States has closed its consular agency in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, barring its employees from traveling there due to a “security threat.”

The embassy in Mexico City issued the alert Wednesday night, shortly after a bomb exploded on a ferry that runs between Playa del Carmen and Cozumel in February and an undetonated ordnance was found on another ferry a week later, ABC News reported.

The U.S State Department didn’t provide much information as to what the threat was, saying only that the embassy in Mexico City received a threat on Wednesday.

“We take our obligation to provide information to U.S. citizens seriously as evidenced by the clear, timely, and reliable safety and security information we release worldwide,” State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said in a statement, adding that the agency will provide “important updates when information becomes available.”

Nauert further noted that the consular agency’s closure, as well as the personnel travel ban, are in place “until further notice.” However, American citizens were not told to avoid travel to Playa del Carmen. The State Department’s alert system puts it at a “Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution.”

“In Mexico alone, we’ve issued a number of recent security alerts as soon as we received information that travelers should know. We encourage travelers to be aware of surroundings and exercise caution,” Nauert said on Wednesday night.

The explosion on a ferry in Playa del Carmen injured 25 people, among whom were two Americans. A week later, an explosive device was uncovered in Cozumel, the Playa del Carmen state prosecutor said. The State Department confirmed the information and urged Americans to “exercise caution” when traveling.

Princess Cruises, which sails to Cozumel, also sent out a warning to passengers.

“As the safety and security of our guests and crew is our highest priority, our security department remains in close contact with government and private sources as well as our local agents and tour operators and continues to monitor the situation,” Princess Cruises said in a statement last Friday.

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