The Texas Department of Public Safety is again urging spring breakers to avoid traveling to Mexico as a result of continued violence throughout the country, Trooper Mark Tackett advised in a prepared statement.
“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,” said DPS Director Steven C. McCraw. “However, drug cartel violence and other criminal activity represent a significant safety threat, even in some resort areas.”
The State Department now urges U.S. travelers to defer non-essential travel to all or parts of 14 Mexican states, four more than 2011.
According to published information from the U.S. Department of State:
• 12,903 narcotics-related homicides were reported the first nine months of 2011 alone.
• The number of U.S. citizens reported as murdered in Mexico increased from 35 in 2007 to 120 in 2011.
• U.S. citizens have fallen victim to transnational criminal activity, including homicide, gun battles, kidnapping, carjacking and highway robbery.
• Rape and sexual assault continue to be serious problems in resort areas.
• Some bars and nightclubs, especially in resort cities such as Cancun, Acapulco, Mazatlan, Cabo San Lucas, and Tijuana can be havens for drug dealers and petty criminals.
• Crime and violence are serious problems throughout the country and can occur anywhere.
“The situation in Mexico today is significantly different than it was just a decade ago,” said McCraw. “Many crimes against Americans in Mexico go unpunished, and we have a responsibility to inform the public about safety and travel risks and threats. Based on the unpredictable nature of cartel violence and other criminal elements, we are urging people to avoid travel to Mexico at this time.”
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. Department of State 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.)
U.S. citizens living or traveling in Mexico are urged to register with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate at https://travelregistration.state.gov/ibrs/ui/.