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Mexico: Spring Breakers Came Despite Texas Warning

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MEXICO CITY (CBSDFW.COM/AP) – Mexico is taking a rare opportunity to tweak neighboring Texas, saying the number of U.S. spring breakers visiting Mexico this year rose 7.2 percent despite a travel warning issued by the U.S. state.

Mexico’s Tourism Department notes with some satisfaction that tourists arriving during March included some highly regarded Texans — the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders. They agency says they did a calendar shoot on Mexico’s Caribbean coast.

A Tuesday announcement from the department says 77,000 young tourists visited Mexico on spring break trips between March 5 and 30.

During spring break local Brookhaven College student Derek Madrigal was beaten with the lid of a cooler and stabbed on a crowded South Padre Island beach. According to police, the young man was attacked while trying to protect his girlfriend from men who were harassing her.

In early March, the Texas Department of Public Safety advised students on spring break to avoid Mexico, citing violence.

Overall, the number of U.S. tourists visiting Mexico in March totaled 382,376, young and old. That is a 7.3 percent increase from 2011.

(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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