As spring approaches, and summer, people start to plan vacations, often in warmer climates.  The US State Department has now expanded it's list of potentially dangerous states to travel to in Mexico.

Due to increased drug violence and crime, there are now 14 states in Mexico where the State Department says Americans should avoid except for what is called "essential travel."    The list has been updated now for the second time in just a few months, expanding from 10 to the 14 states.  From the Reuters news story:

"The latest advisory cites concerns about parts of Aguascalientes, Guerrero and Nayarit in central Mexico, and raises its advisory against non-essential travel to include Chihuahua, Coahuila, Durango, Nuevo Leon, San Luis Potosi, Sinaloa and Zacatecas as well as Tamaulipas and Michoacan.

The State Department also maintained an April warning against non-essential travel to parts of Sonora, south of Arizona, and central Jalisco state, where drug cartel violence has become more widespread."

  Instead of the violence being confined to known drug or crime controlled areas,  US officials report that gun battles and other criminal activities have spread into public areas such as clubs, restaurants, and even tourist areas.  They report incidents of US citizens having to take cover, or not being able to leave certain venues because of  gunfire and other drug gang related activity.  Over 47,000 people have died since 2006 when Mexican authorities began their most concerted effort to battle the drug cartels, and the associated crime activities that accompany them.