NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Texas students waiting anxiously for Spring Break fun south of the border are being advised to change their plans.
The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is advising Spring Break travelers to avoid going to Mexico.
DPS officials said they made the decision because of the continued violence throughout Mexico.
A press release included information from the U.S. Department of State highlighting the ever-increasing dangers associated with Mexican drug cartels.
“Many crimes against Americans in Mexico go unpunished, and we have a responsibility to inform the public about safety and travel risks and threats,” said DPS Director Steven C. McCraw. “Based on the unpredictable nature of cartel violence and other criminal elements, we are urging individuals to avoid travel to Mexico at this time.”
According to the department, the number of U.S. citizens reported murdered in Mexico stood at 120 — up from 35 in 2007. The statistics also show that U.S. citizens have increasingly fallen victim to Mexican criminal activity, including homicide, gun battles, kidnapping, carjacking and highway robbery.
Of particular interest to students is Department of State information noting that some bars and nightclubs in resort cities such as Cancun, Acapulco, Mazatlan, Cabo San Lucas, and Tijuana can be havens for drug dealers and petty criminals.
McCraw applauded foreign officials stating that, “The Mexican government has made great strides battling the cartels, and we commend their continued commitment to making Mexico a safer place to live and visit,” but went on to say, “However, drug cartel violence and other criminal activity represent a significant safety threat, even in some resort areas.”
DPS said the risks associated with Mexican travel simply “cannot be ignored,” and that at the very least travelers should carefully research any planned trips.
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