Texas state officials are asking Spring Breakers to avoid Mexico due to continued drug cartel violence that has killed at least 65 Americans in the crossfire.
The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) issued a reminder travel alert on Monday morning.
The warning comes just ahead of most Texas colleges and universities going on Spring Break from March 11 to 18th.
DPS Director Steven C. McCraw said drug cartel violence is most severe in northern Mexico but it's also prominent in other parts of Mexico, including tourist areas.
Various crime problems also exist in many popular resort areas, such as Acapulco and Cancun, and crimes against U.S citizens often go unpunished," McCraw said.
DPS officials are also reminding boaters to stay on the American side of Falcon Lake.
Falcon Lake has been the scene of several robberies and the murder of Colorado native David Hartley.
DPS is again warning boaters to steer clear of the Mexican side of the lake because cartel activity remains high in that area.
More than 30,000 people have been killed in the drug cartel violence south of the border.
DPS reports that 65 Americans caught in the crossfire were killed in Mexico in 2010. Other many more Americans have been kidnapped, raped, robbed and carjacked without suspects being brought to justice.March 1, 2011 DPS discourages Spring Break travel to Mexico Reminds boaters of dangers on Falcon Lake
The Texas Department of Public Safety is urging Spring Breakers to avoid traveling to Mexico because of continued violence"and reminding boaters to stay on the U.S. side of Falcon Lake.
Falcon Lake has been the scene of several robberies and a U.S. citizen TMs murder, and DPS is again warning boaters to steer clear of the Mexican side of the lake. Cartel activity remains high in that area.
While drug cartel violence is most severe in northern Mexico, it is prominent in other parts of the country as well, said DPS Director Steven C. McCraw. Various crime problems also exist in many popular resort areas, such as Acapulco and Cancun, and crimes against U.S citizens often go unpunished.
So far this year, an ICE agent was killed and another injured in a suspected ambush near San Luis Potosi February 15. Two El Paso teens were gunned down February 5 in Ciudad Juarez. In January, a Texas missionary was shot in the head when she and her husband ran an illegal road block in Nuevo Leon.
In addition to U.S citizens killed so far this year, preliminary figures show as many as 65 Americans were killed in Mexico in 2010. Kidnapping, sexual assault, robbery and carjacking also are threats in parts of Mexico. Suspects have not been prosecuted in many of the cases. Meanwhile, more than 30,000 Mexican citizens have died in drug-related violence since 2006, and the violence shows no signs of abating.
Drug violence has not discriminated"innocent bystanders and people who may have been in the wrong place at the wrong time are among the casualties. Underestimating the violence in Mexico would be a mistake for parents and students, said McCraw. Our safety message is simple: avoid traveling to Mexico during Spring Break and stay alive.
DPS acknowledges that many travel to Mexico without incident, but the risks cannot be ignored. Travelers are encouraged to carefully research any planned trips.
Travelers should always check the U.S. State Department website for the most up-to-date information related to security issues in Mexico. (See http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_970.html or http://mexico.usembassy.gov/eng/eacs_MexicoSecurityUpdate.html.)
U.S. citizens living or traveling in Mexico are urged to register with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate through their website at https://travelregistration.state.gov/ibrs/ui/.