Washington, D.C. The State Department on Monday issued a new travel alert warning of rising violence in northern Mexico, but stopped short of suggesting that Americans avoid traveling in the border region.
The alert detailed an uptick in drug-related homicides, shootouts, kidnappings and car thefts near the border, particularly in the cities of Tijuana, Chihuahua and Ciudad Juarez.
About 200 people have been killed so far this year in Ciudad Juarez, a city of 1.3 million across from El Paso, Texas.
"These conditions are widely known here in Mexico from watching the news every day, but many tourists are simply not as aware of what goes on in other countries as they are in their own," U.S. Ambassador Tony Garza said in a statement.
However, the alert "does not advise Americans to avoid travel to any region or city," Garza said.