Unrest, high levels of violence and a volatile political climate can make travel to some places dangerous.Recently, some Canadian tourists were MexicoHotels in the state of Sinaloa were locked down for days after the arrest of a suspected drug cartel chief led to violence in the area.
To avoid such situations, the Government of Canada has issued a list of travel advisories for the following countries Mexico, jamaica and Peru Help travelers make informed decisions, even if they find themselves in a similar situation.
“The safety of Canadians abroad is the Government of Canada’s top priority,” spokeswoman Marilyne Guèvremont Global Affairs Canada (GAC)told Global News.
Canadians in Mexico were told to limit movement and shelter in place after violence erupted in the country’s northwest last week.
government suggestion Canadians are being urged to exercise “a high level of caution” due to an increase in criminal activity and kidnappings in the region.
Since the arrest of Ovidio Guzman, son of jailed cartel boss Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, in a pre-dawn raid in January, Sinaloa, especially Culiacan, Mazatlan, Los Mochis 5. In its advisory, the Canadian government warned against burning cars, crossfire and threats to critical infrastructure, including the airport.
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Two airports in Sinaloa closed to reopen Jan. 6 after flights were grounded and tourists were stranded, but Canadians are still advised to avoid the area if possible.
Transport Canada warned that “several flights” from Sunwing, Swoop and WestJet may still be affected by the unrest.
Guèvremont said Global Affairs “is aware of the Canadians affected by these events and is providing consular services.”
The local government in Sinaloa state urged people to stay indoors and said schools and administrative offices would remain closed because of the violence. The State Department also advised Americans not to travel to the area.
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Some of the areas in Mexico that Canadians are advised to avoid non-essential visits include:
- Colima, except Manzanillo
- Coahuila, except in the southern part of the state located on and below the Saltillo-Torreón motorway corridor
- Durango, except City of Durango
- State of Guerrero, except Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo and Taxco City
- Michoacan, except the city of Morelia
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A full list of regions can be found at on the government website.
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Canada also advises Canadians traveling to Jamaica to exercise extreme caution due to an increase in violent crime.
The government of Jamaica reinstated a state of emergency for some parishes in the country on December 28, 2022, due to violence and gang-related crime. Dioceses include:
- saint andrew
- saint ann
- St. Catherine
- saint james
The state of emergency will last until January 11. The measure, first announced by Jamaica’s prime minister in early December, is aimed at combating a surge in gang violence on the island, which has the country’s highest murder rate.
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The state of emergency is designed to allow authorities to arrest people and search buildings without a warrant. That has drawn harsh criticism from political opponents and activists, who have warned against a repeat of Jamaica’s previous police abuse and mass detentions under a state of emergency.
Canadian security services say Canadians traveling to affected areas may be searched by security forces travel alertso the government’s advice is to always cooperate, carry valid ID and follow directions from local authorities.
The Canadian government said travel to Peru must also be “extremely cautious” because of the potential for social conflict and strikes across the country.
Peru has been in the midst of a national crisis marked by deadly unrest after lawmakers ousted President Pedro Castillo. Dina Boluarte became Peru’s first female president, succeeding the ousted leader.
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The death toll from the unrest rose to 26 by late December after security forces fired tear gas and dispersed thousands of wildcat miners who had cut off the Pan-American Highway at two key chokepoints for more than a week. As a result, truck drivers are forced to dump spoiled food and fish onto the market. Hundreds of people were injured.
Protesters blocked the streets of the Peruvian capital and many rural communities, demanding Castillo’s freedom, Boluarte’s resignation and immediate elections to elect a new president and replace all members of Congress.
Peru is in a 30-day national state of emergency until January 13.
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Given the current political situation, Canadians are advised to avoid all non-essential travel, including:
- Cusco, including Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu
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A number of other areas have also been warned due to the situation of domestic terrorism and criminal activity, including:
- Huaraga and Tokas in Saint Martin
- Upper Huallaga and Ene River Valleys, Provinces of Huánuco and San Martín
- Ucayali Province Padriabad Province
- Huacaybamba, Humalíes, Leoncio Prado and Marañón provinces in the province of Huánuco
A full list can be found at here.
Travelers are urged to avoid any non-essential areas within 20 kilometers of the Colombian border due to drug trafficking and occasional incursions by armed Colombian guerrillas into Peru.
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Furthermore, due to the security threat posed by landmines, it is recommended to avoid unnecessary travel to areas within 20 km of the Ecuadorian border, especially the Cordillera de Cóndor area.
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Global Affairs Canada says avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place and do not attempt to cross barricades, even if they appear to be unattended.
Guèvremont said Canadians should also allow more time to reach their destinations and look forward to an increased security force presence in affected areas.
It is also advised to monitor local media and follow directions from local authorities to help weather the storm.
So far, CCA South Central Ontario (SCO) “has been reaching out to members currently in (Mexico) to assist if needed,” Susan Postma, the agency’s regional vice president and tourism spokesperson, said in an email. Tell Global News.
CAA is Canada’s largest not-for-profit automotive association with more than 2 million members in South Central Ontario and 200,000 members in Manitoba. They offer different insurance services including travel.
“The decision to travel is a personal choice and travelers should always refer to the latest information and guidance from Global Affairs Canada when making travel decisions,” Postma said.
CAA spokeswoman Elisha Dacey said their company always recommends travel insurance, especially when traveling to international destinations.
“Travel insurance can cover canceled flights, lost luggage, medical expenses and more. However, not all travel insurance is created equal, so we encourage our members to ask questions to ensure they are fully covered for all emergencies,” says Dacey.
In the meantime, the GAC says Canadians in need of urgent consular assistance should “contact Global Affairs Canada’s Emergency Observation and Response Center at 001-800-514-0129 (Mexico toll-free only), +1 613 996 8885, Text +1 613-686-3658, WhatsApp +1 613-909-8881, Canada Emergency Abroad on Telegram or email at firstname.lastname@example.org“
— Files from Sean Boynton of Global News and The Associated Press