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It’d be a shame to miss out on backpacking Nicaragua because of out of date information.
Guatemala is another country that recently experienced a destructive civil war, but the country is recovering and rebuilding, and its locals welcome tourists with open arms.
Furthermore, don’t judge a country solely based on its past.
In January 2017, a mini drug war broke out between two cartels in the Cancun and Playa del Carmen region, resulting in a few shootings outside public places and at a nightclub during BPM (music festival).
A couple friends of mine worked in Playa del Carmen during the BPM shooting, and had to leave with 24 hour notice because of cartel extortion threats at their hostel.
To assert control, they regularly kill bus drivers (even with people aboard).
As awful as the gang violence is, it’s happening in big city neighbourhoods, not tourist towns.