CANCÚN, Quintana Roo — Spring Break is right around the corner and a travel warning from the U.S. State Department is taking a new urgency following a nightclub murder in Cancun.
Five people were killed and more wounded on February 17 when a group of gunmen stormed into La Kuka nightclub, Mexican prosecutors said. The nightclub is several miles away from Cancun's bustling seaside tourist hotel zone.
The U.S. State Department is warning American travelers to be vigilant if traveling south of the border, specifically in certain Mexican states.
All 31 Mexican states are under a warning; five states are the most heightened "Level 4 - Do Not Travel" warning.
State Department officials warned of violent crime across the country, including "homicide, kidnapping, carjacking, and robbery."
The State Department offered the following advice for Americans still traveling to the country:
- Use toll roads when possible and avoid driving alone or at night. In many states, police presence and emergency services are extremely limited outside the state capital or major cities.
- Exercise increased caution when visiting local bars, nightclubs, and casinos.
- Do not display signs of wealth, such as wearing expensive watches or jewelry.
- Be extra vigilant when visiting banks or ATMs.
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
- Review the Crime and Safety Reports for Mexico.
- U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.
So far, no arrests had been made in the nightclub murder.