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Two countries warn citizens about US travel following weekend of mass shootings

Warning sign (Nick Youngson/Alpha Stock Images)

At least two countries issued travel alerts Monday warning their citizens about the violence in the United States after 31 people were gunned down in two separate mass shootings over the weekend.

Uruguay urged travelers to take precautions against “hate crimes, including racism and discrimination,” while the Venezuelan government asked its citizens to postpone their travel plans altogether.

Uruguay’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that “given the inability of authorities to prevent” mass shootings, which is partly due to “the indiscriminate possession of firearms by the population,” travelers should avoid places with large concentrations of people, including malls, festivals, theme parks and sports events.

“In particular, it is recommended not to go with minors to these places,” the statement reads.

U.S. authorities are treating the massacre of 22 people at a Walmart store in El Paso on Saturday as “domestic terrorism” and are considering federal hate crime charges against the shooter, 21-year-old Patrick Crusius, who was apparently motivated by his anger toward Hispanic immigrants. At least seven of his victims were Mexican nationals.

Police in Ohio have yet to determine a motive in the Oregon District shooting in Dayton, where nine people were killed and at least 27 people were wounded early Sunday morning — about 13 hours after the El Paso murders. The shooter, 24-year-old Connor Betts, was shot and killed by police less than a minute after he opened fire.

The Venezuelan alert, issued by the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, cited the two shootings as evidence of the “proliferation of acts of violence and crimes of indiscriminate hatred” in America. The crisis-stricken South American country, which has been ranked one of the most dangerous countries in the world, used the opportunity to take a swipe at the Trump administration.

“These growing acts of violence have found echo and sustenance in the speeches and actions filled with racial discrimination and hatred against migrant populations, pronounced and executed from the supremacist elite holding political power in Washington,” the alert says.

The two countries listed several “dangerous” cities that travelers should avoid, including Detroit, Baltimore, Atlanta and Cleveland.

This is not the first time a foreign country has warned its citizens about traveling to the U.S. China issued an alert in June, citing frequent cases of “shooting, robbery and theft.” The move came after President Trump raised tariffs on Chinese goods.

Canada, Germany, Ireland and New Zealand have issued similar warnings in recent years, according to the Washington Post.


© 2019 New York Daily News