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State Department Prohibits Staff Travel To San Carlos, Guaymas

San Carlos travel ban
Peter O'Dowd/KJZZ
editorial | staff
The race will begin in San Carlos.

The U.S. State Department announced via Tweet Tuesday evening that it is prohibiting employee travel to the popular Sonoran resort town of San Carlos and nearby Guaymas, a major port city.

The ban also applies to any travel south of the Sonoran state capital Hermosillo on Federal Highway 15, the state’s most important thoroughfare.

The State Department cites “recent violent criminal activity and police action.”

In recent days, there have been several murders and disappearances in or near Guaymas, including three in San Carlos, according to local media reports. But some say the situation has since improved.

“Things are calm now,” said Daisy Fernandez, director of San Carlos’ convention and visitor office. “There is no risk.”

Local media also reported that local police have not shown up for work in San Carlos—citing threats against them—and that state police have taken over some of their duties. Fernandez disputed those accounts.

The Guaymas public security office and the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City did not respond to requests for comment on the recent events.

State and federal security forces have been sent to the area and checkpoints have been set up in the tourist areas, according to a release Wednesday from the state government.

The travel ban will be reevaluated after 10 days, according to the State Department’s website.

Born and raised in the Intermountain West, Murphy Woodhouse has called southern Arizona home for most of the last decade. He’s one of two field correspondents at KJZZ’s Hermosillo bureau, where his reporting focuses on the trade relationship between Arizona, Sonora and the rest of Mexico.Before joining the station, Murphy was a reporter at the Arizona Daily Star and the Nogales International. Prior to his reporting career, he completed a master’s degree at the University of Arizona’s Center for Latin American Studies and did three wildfire seasons with the Snake River Hotshots. He’s a proud graduate of the University of Montana’s School of Journalism.When he’s not reporting, Murphy is often out in the woods running or riding singletrack, or swinging in a hammock with a book.