The Texas Department of Public Safety delivered a stark warning to potential spring break revelers yesterday: “Avoid traveling in Mexico during Spring Break and stay alive.”
Travel warnings for Mexico aren’t new, but U.S. officials and security experts are taking a more urgent tone this spring break season in light of recent attacks on Americans in Mexico, including the shooting of two U.S. immigration agents last month.
Security conditions have deteriorated in Mexico and drug violence is spreading beyond traditional border city hotspots into coastal resort towns like Acapulco and Cancun. While there is no evidence that drug cartels are targeting tourists, Stratfor reminds college students that “deadly violence can occur anywhere – with complete disregard for bystanders, whatever their nationality and status.”
To make matters worse, crimes targeting tourists (i.e. petty theft, kidnapping, rape) are on the rise in port cities where growing cartel influence has rendered local law enforcement corrupt and ineffectual.
Link to the news article.
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The Texas Department of Public Safety has warned Texans to avoid traveling in Mexico. The warning, issued Friday, is the fourth in the last year. It cites the death of a missionary this week, the shooting of an American on the Mexican side of Falcon Lake in September, the killing of a University of Texas-Brownsville student in October and the suspected abduction of four men and a 14-year-old who were visiting Nuevo Laredo in late November.
A consulate warden message said all official travel is banned along Benito Juarez highway between Estacion Don and Guamuchil, Sinaloa, “due to extreme threats of violence.”
U.S. employees must travel in armored vehicles in the rest of Sinaloa, a state considered the cradle of the drug cartel by the same name and where drug-gang shootouts are frequent. The consulate made an exception for the city of Mazatlan, though it did not explain why.
In Sonora, the consulate said armored vehicles were required south of Ciudad Obregon and it banned travel south of Navojoa and in the mountainous areas in eastern Sonora.
U.S. personnel also must travel in armored vehicles in the area around Nogales, a town across the border from Nogales, Arizona, “due to widespread violence” and “the threat of known drug trafficking activity throughout northern Sonora.”
U.S. employees traveling from Nogales, Arizona, to Hermosillo, can only use their own vehicles on the Mexican toll road Highway 15 during daylight hours, the statement added.
Warden Message #1
Warden Message #2