Canada issues travel warning for Playa del Carmen, Mexico after ferry explosion

The U.S. Embassy in Mexico took the decision to close services in coastal resort town Playa del Carmen on Wednesday night, issuing a statement on the alert that did not specifically state what the threat was.

The U.S. has closed its consular agency in a popular Mexican tourist spot and is barring its employees from traveling there over a "security threat". All U.S. government employees are now prohibited from travelling to Playa del Carmen until further notice.

The alert comes as many Canadians and Americans head south for spring break and just weeks after at least 25 people were injured when an explosion ripped through a ferry in Playa del Carmen.

The U.S. State Department says they are continuing to investigate with local authorities after discovering the undetonated explosive on March 1.

"Continue to exercise a high degree of caution in Playa del Carmen", reads the statement.

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Initial reports had indicated the explosion was caused either by a gas leak or engine failure, but a security alert posted on the U.S. Embassy website the blast was caused by an explosive device. "Contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate if you need assistance".

"We do not know why the USA government made a decision to emit this alert".

The state's Tourism Department said that the incidents may be related to the internal affairs of the ferry company that owned both boats, Barcos Caribe, which is owned by the father of government official Roberto Borge, who was extradited from Panama in January on charges of embezzlement and abuse of public office, BI reported.

Last summer, the department also cautioned vacationers to be careful when drinking alcohol in Mexico.

The Canadian government has added Mexico's most popular tourist destination to its list of travel advisories for the country. The State Department reports that there has been an increase in homicide rates over 2016, and that, while most of the homicides appeared to be targeted assassinations stemming from turf battles between rival criminal groups, those clashes have resulted in violent crime in areas frequented by US citizens.