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OTTAWA - Tikal, an important Mayan archeological site and popular tourist attraction in northern Guatemala, has been hit by a travel warning from Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs.

Canadians should avoid all non-essential travel to the department of Peten, which includes Tikal, because of a recent increase in violence due to drug trafficking, the department said.

This week Guatemalan authorities declared a 30-day state of emergency in Peten after 27 people were murdered in La Libertad near the Mexican border.

The U.S. State Department has called Peten a high-risk area due to “uncontrolled drug and alien smuggling.”

Tikal, part of Tikal National Park, was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979. (source)