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The United States has stiffened its travel warning for El Salvador, urging Americans “to carefully consider the risks of travel to El Salvador due to the high rates of crime and violence.”

The travel warning issued Tuesday replaces one issued a year ago, which urged travelers to “remain alert to their surroundings.”

Both advisories warned of “critically high” violence and crime. But last year’s warning noted that “tens of thousands of U.S. citizens safely visit El Salvador each year for study, tourism, cruise ship visits, business, and volunteer work,” language that did not appear this year.

Killings peaked at 104 per 100,000 residents in 2015.

Homicides fell by about 20 percent in 2016, but El Salvador remains one of the most violent countries with 81.2 murders per 100,000 residents.

This article was from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Photo Credit: Tourism companies from El Salvador pitched the destination at an international tourism conference on October 25, 2016. Mitur El Salvador