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State issues travel warnings in Mexico after deadly cartel kidnapping

A video capturing four Americans being captured in a deadly ambush resulted in United States officials reimplementing travel restrictions to parts of Mexico.

MATAMOROS, Tamaulipas — A video was captured as four Americans were involved in a kidnapping that turned deadly during a cartel shootout near the northern Mexico border city of Matamoros. Now, travel warnings are in the spotlight.

A "Level 4-Do Not Travel" warning, the highest travel warning given by the State Department, is in effect for Tamaulipas state, where Matamoros is located. U.S. government employees have been instructed to avoid the area until further notice. Baja California is at a "Level 3- Reconsider Travel To” warning due to crime and kidnapping.

Deputy Director of the Mexico Institute at the Wilson Center in Washington D.C said, "The U.S. Department of State has placed a warning on five other Mexican states, including Baja California, as a no travel warning due to the large amounts of crime and kidnapping."

Dr. Ev Meade, a former UCSD and USD professor who specializes in studies of violence, migration, and peace and the Director of the Pacific Process Project, says while this is a terrifying circumstance, it shouldn’t stop people from traveling to Mexico.

"It's very important to remember this is a rare event. It rarely happens. This will open a broader conversation about what's going on in Mexico. I think its perfectly safe to travel to Mexico, but of course, pay attention to warnings," said Dr. Meade.

However, former FBI Hostage Rescue team member and Senior Risk Advisor for Global Guardian, Rob D’amico, advises not to travel to Mexico, but he says if you are willing to take that risk, be cautious.

"Make sure to have situational awareness. Understand your surroundings, don’t have your head down in your phone, and read warnings," said D'Amico.

Meanwhile, the Biden Administration closely follows the situation and coordinates with Mexican authorities.

"They need to bring the individuals that caused this to justice which is hard in Mexico because of the deep corruption of public officials," said Abed.

Here is a full list of travel warnings in Mexico:

Do Not Travel To:

Reconsider Travel To:

Exercise Increased Caution When Traveling To:

Exercise Normal Precautions When Traveling To:

WATCH RELATED: 2 Americans kidnapped in Mexico back in U.S., rushed to hospital; 2 dead

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