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2011-03-03

DPS discourages spring break travel to Mexico

TxDPS

Law enforcement personnel with the Texas Department of Public Safety urge spring breakers to avoid traveling to Mexico because of continued violence - and remind boaters to stay on the United States' side of Falcon Lake.
Falcon Lake has been the scene of several robberies and the murder of a US citizen, 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 US citizens often go unpunished."
So far this year, an ICE agent was killed and another injured in a suspected ambush near San Luis Potosi Feb. 15. Two El Paso teens were gunned down Feb. 5 in Ciudad Juarez. In January, a Texas missionary was shot in the head when she and her husband ran an illegal roadblock in Nuevo Leon.
In addition to US 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 US State Department website for the most up-to-date information related to security issues in Mexico. Visit http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_970.html or http://mexico.usembassy.gov/eng/eacs_MexicoSecurityUpdate.html.
US citizens living or traveling in Mexico are urged to register with the nearest US Embassy or Consulate through their website at https://travelregistration.state.gov/ibrs/ui/.