The U.S. embassy in Mexico City has warned tourists in Mexico to exercise extreme caution while travelling after explosions on two ferries in the Quintana Roo region.
Both ferries operate out of Cozumel, a popular destination for cruise ships carrying tourists. The warning from the embassy comes after American government staff were issued a ban from using the ferries on this route.
On the 21st of February, an explosive device detonated on a tourist ferry that runs between Cozumel and Playa del Carmen. The blast occurred as passengers were disembarking, and 26 people were injured, including tourists from across the globe.
The governor of the state of Quintana Roo initially said that the explosion was likely caused by a “technical failure.” But a gang aligned with the Zetas drug cartel has since claimed responsibility for the explosion.
Ferry operator Barcos Caribe had its operations suspended by the government after an explosion on the 27th February and the manager of the passenger terminal at Playa del Carmen said that traffic volumes have dropped off by a third.
The second ferry – operated by the same firm – was at anchor and not in operation, and it had at least one device attached to the underside of its hull. Mexican Navy personnel found and deactivated the suspected bomb.