Is it still safe to travel to Mexico?
The shooting of a B.C. senior on holiday in Mexico has prompted questions about the safety of the country, the most popular sun destination for Canadians.
Mike Di Lorenzo of Penticton, B.C. is recovering in hospital after being hit by a stray bullet during a deadly gun battle Monday on the streets of Mazatlan, a city in the Pacific coast state of Sinaloa.
Despite his injuries, Di Lorenzo told CTV News he still feels secure in the country he and his wife have visited every winter for the past decade.
Dozens of people have died in the past few weeks in Mexican tourist destinations like Cancun and Acapulco, many as a result of the ongoing deadly drug war.
Vancouver travel agent Charles Archibald says Mexico is still safe, as long as Canadians fly across the border and stay in a good resort.
Archibald says prime tourist areas like Cancun and Puerto Vallarta are secure, but Acapulco and some border areas can be risky.
Despite the assurances, Archibald says Canadians should always be vigilant when visiting these regions.
"They should use common sense and be cautious of the areas they're going to," he said.
Canada's Foreign Affairs website advises against non-essential travel to Sinaloa state, as it is located in a part of Mexico where "shootouts, attacks and illegal roadblocks may occur at any time."
Additionally, Ottawa warns that foreign residents and tourists have been injured in drug-related violence in Sinaloa and Canadians "should be particularly aware of their surroundings" as a result.
One travel expert who spoke to CTV News Channel said although Canadians can ask for consular assistance if they run into trouble in foreign countries, "travellers have to do their own homework" when heading to regions known for violence or corruption.
"They're the ones who have to deal with everything local that's happening," said Gabor Forgacs, an assistant professor at Toronto's Ted Rogers School of Tourism and Hospitality Management.
Have your say: Would you feel safe travelling to Mexico?