WASHINGTON, Feb. 9 (UPI) -- U.S. travelers to Mexico are reminded that the government there is at war with drug cartels, which Washington blamed for more than 12,000 deaths last year.
The U.S. State Department issued a travel warning regarding the risks of traveling to Mexico. The warning noted that while drug cartels aren't targeting U.S. visitors specifically, the Mexican government is fighting armed narcotics traffickers in the country.
"As a result, crime and violence are serious problems throughout the country and can occur anywhere," the advisory read. "U.S. citizens have fallen victim to (transnational criminal elements), including homicide, gun battles, kidnapping, carjacking and highway robbery."
The Mexican government reports that more than 47,000 people were killed during drug wars from 2006 through September 2011. The State Department said 120 U.S. citizens were killed in Mexico last year, up from 35 reported in 2007.
"The rising number of kidnappings and disappearances throughout Mexico is of particular concern," the advisory read. "Both local and expatriate communities have been victimized."
The State Department said local police were tied to violence in Mexico, advising U.S. citizens in the country to maintain a low profile.
The warning noted that most tourism resorts were somewhat shielded from the drug-related violence, however.