This is no joke folks. If you’re planning your Spring Break vacay in Cancun, Acapulco, or Mexican border cities…stop. It’s flat out dangerous. The Texas Department of Public Safety actually came out and told college students yesterday to not visit border cities such as Michoacan, Durango, Coahuila, and Chihuahua. While many universities have issued this kind of warning in the past, this is the first time a law enforcement agency specifically advised against travel.
Drug related deaths in Mexico have surpassed the 16,000 mark. While border cities are the most dangerous, officials are advising against any Mexican travel right now. Spokeswoman for the Texas Department of Public Safety, Tela Mange, said “Because of the increased violence, we decided to step it up a little bit and say, ‘Parents, bad idea,’” Mange said.
Department Director Steven C. McGraw added, “Parents should not allow their children to visit these Mexican cities because their safety cannot be guaranteed.”
Here’s the Department’s official alert: “Recent violent attacks have caused the U.S. Embassy to urge U.S. citizens to delay unnecessary travel to parts of Michoacan, Durango, Coahuila and Chihuahua … and to advise U.S. citizens residing or traveling in those areas to exercise extreme caution.
Mexican authorities report that more than 2,600 people were killed in Ciudad Juarez in 2009,” the alert also says. “Additionally, this city of 1.3 million people experienced more than 16,000 car thefts and 1,900 carjackings in 2009. U.S. citizens should pay close attention to their surroundings while traveling in Ciudad Juarez, avoid isolated locations during late night and early morning hours, and remain alert to news reports.
Mexican drug cartels are engaged in violent conflict — both among themselves and with Mexican security services — for control of narcotics trafficking routes along the U.S.-Mexico border. In order to combat violence, the government of Mexico has deployed military troops throughout the country. U.S. citizens should cooperate fully with official checkpoints when traveling on Mexican highways.
Some recent Mexican army and police confrontations with drug cartels have resembled small-unit combat, with cartels employing automatic weapons and grenades. Large firefights have taken place in towns and cities across Mexico, but occur mostly in northern Mexico, including Ciudad Juarez, Tijuana, Chihuahua City, Nogales, Matamoros, Reynosa and Monterrey. During some of these incidents, U.S. citizens have been trapped and temporarily prevented from leaving the area.
Ciudad Juarez, Tijuana and Nogales are among the cities which have experienced public shootouts during daylight hours in shopping centers and other public venues.”
Now that you’re scared, start booking your Spring Break ski trip. Check out our new Resort Rater for some good ideas.