The Texas Department of Public Safety has issued a warning to Spring Breakers about traveling to Mexico during their break due to the rising violence throughout the country and border regions. They have also issued reminders for boaters to stay on the United States side of Falcon Lake.
The Texas DPS explain that cartel movement in and around Falcon Lake is high, and that many robberies and murders have taken place on the Mexican side of the lake. “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 northeastern Mexico.
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.
More information for travelers can be found at the U.S. State Department’s website.