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American officials have updated a travel warning to Mexico stating that neighboring Tamaulipas and Nuevo Leon are among the least secure states in Mexico. The U.S. State Department issued the updated travel warning on Friday afternoon.
Officials offered general advice asking visitors to Mexico to use airlines as preferred travel and to stay in tourist areas.
According to the alert, those traveling by roads are asked generally to stick to toll roads when available and drive during daylight hours.
State By State Breakdown
But the State Department also issued a state-by-state breakdown for all of Mexico measuring drug cartel violence threats.
Out of the 31 states and Federal District, the State Department considers 12 of them safe enough to where no advisory is needed.
Those 12 safe states are listed as: Baja California Sur, Campeche, Distrito Federal, Guanajuato, Hidalgo, Oaxaca, Puebla, Querétaro, Quintana Roo, Tabasco, Tlaxcala and Yucatan.
But the two states closest to the Rio Grande Valley are listed among the most dangerous.
State Department officials reported that Tamaulipas is among the most dangerous states in Mexico.
According to the alert, Tamaulipas has the highest rates of kidnapping south of the border.
The alert revealed that gunmen unsuccessfully tried to kidnap an American government official in Matamoros in February.
State Department officials reported that there has also been a 92.5 percent increase in murders since last year.
The warning also noted that Tamaulipas highways are not secure and prone to carjackings and robberies at cartel checkpoints.
Some American citizens have been killed by not complying with the demands of gunmen.
A number of Valley residents also visit Monterrey, the largest city in northeast Mexico.
State Department officials reported that Monterrey and Nuevo Leon have seen an increase in drug cartel violence, particularly over the past six months.
According to the alert, visitors to the area are asked to defer travel to rural areas of Nuevo Leon but exercise caution in Monterrey and the surrounding metropolitan area.
But the alert stated that gun battles and other violence has taken place in Monterrey, particularly at casinos and adult entertainment establishments.
State Department officials reported that American citizens have been kidnapped and killed in Monterrey, even after families paid the ransom.