Uruguay has warned its citizens against visiting the United States in wake of two deadly mass shootings, citing the danger of violence, hate crimes and racism and the ‘inability’ of US authorities to stop them.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Montevideo issued an advisory on Monday, urging Uruguayans to “take precautions against the growing indiscriminate violence, mostly hate crimes, racism and discrimination” if they are traveling to the US, noting that they have claimed over 250 lives in the first seven months of 2019.
Those brave souls that do venture north are advised to avoid crowded places and public events “such as theme parks, shopping centers, art festivals, religious activities, gastronomic fairs and any type of cultural or sporting events,” especially if they are bringing children along.
Uruguayans were also urged to avoid some cities entirely, such as Detroit, Michigan; Baltimore, Maryland; and Albuquerque, New Mexico – which are listed among the twenty “most dangerous in the world” in a recent survey by the business magazine Ceoworld.
Montevideo’s travel advisory comes after the two mass shootings over the weekend, which claimed 31 lives. In El Paso, Texas, 22 people were killed and dozens more injured by a lone gunman who opened fire at a Walmart on Saturday, before surrendering to police. Several hours later, on Sunday, another shooter targeted a popular nightlife spot in Dayton, Ohio, killing nine and injuring 27 more people before he was killed in a shootout with police officers.
Though authorities do not believe that the two incidents were linked, there has been a frenzy of speculation about possible political motives of one or both attackers – along with calls for tighter gun control laws.
The Uruguayan advisory says it is “impossible” for US authorities to deal with mass shootings, due to the “indiscriminate possession of firearms by the population.” The Second Amendment to the US Constitution – ratified in 1791 – guarantees personal firearm ownership, resulting in Americans owning an estimated 40 percent of all firearms on the planet.