The U.S. Department of State is urgently advising travelers to take precautions when visiting Mexico during the spring break amid increased drug-related violence in the nation.
The advisory highlights safety and security concerns due to drug-related violence across the country including popular destination areas such as Acapulco city, where nine people were killed on Sunday in a gang shut out.
Coastal cities such as Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Cozumel, Cabo San Lucas and Mazatlan, are all included in the travel advisory, according to the Department of State.
While millions of U.S. citizens safely visit Mexico each year (including tens of thousands who cross the land border daily for study, tourism or business and nearly one million U.S. citizens who live in Mexico), violence in the country has increased, the Department of State's travel advisory says.
The advisory comes amid reports that at least 50 people were killed over the weekend in Mexico in drug-violence related cases, the New York Times notes. Among the deaths are included an American employee for the U.S. consulate in Ciudad Juarez and her husband who were shot in front of their 1-year-old daughter as they were driving after attending a family gathering.
U.S. President Barack Obama said he was deeply saddened and outraged by the killings, according to the White House.