US issues travel alert for spring break in Mexico

The State Department and the Texas Department of Public Safety have each warned Americans to skip spring break in Mexico, noting that the ongoing violence poses a significant safety risk.

Comes in context of warning Abduction of four Americans in Mexico earlier this month. A “Level 4: Do Not Travel” advisory is in place for the Mexican state of Tamaulipas, where the Americans were kidnapped.

The State Department issued its travel alert for this year’s spring break on Monday. The advisory notes that spring breakers visiting Mexico should be wary of crime in the central areas of Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Tulum, especially after dark.

Visitors should also be careful about any drugs and alcohol purchased in Mexico. American citizens have died and been injured after drinking potentially tainted alcohol in Mexico, the advisory said.

“Counterfeit drugs are common and may be ineffective, contain the wrong strength or dangerous ingredients,” the State Department said.

Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw’s warning focused on violent crime.

“Drug cartel violence and other criminal activity currently represent a significant security threat to anyone entering Mexico,” McCraw said Friday. “We have a duty to educate the public about safety, travel risks and dangers. Based on the volatile nature of cartel activity and the violence we are seeing there, we are urging people to Avoid traveling to Mexico at this time.”

The State Department has listed six. States of Mexico. Under its Level 4 advisory: Colima, Guerrero, Michoacan, Sinaloa, Tamaulipas and Zacatecas. There are also seven states under a “Level 3: Reconsider Travel” advisory: Baja California, Chihuahua, Durango, Guanajuato, Jalisco, Morelos and Sonora.

“Violent crime — such as murder, kidnapping, carjacking, and robbery — is widespread and common in Mexico,” the State Department warned in its advisory. “The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in many areas of Mexico, as travel by U.S. government employees is prohibited or restricted in certain areas. In many states, local emergency services are located in the state capital or are limited outside the major cities.”

According to AAA, Mexico is a popular spring break travel destination this year. Beach vacations are the most popular.

In Mexico, spring break travelers are most likely to visit Cancun, the Riviera Maya or Mexico City, according to AAA. Those areas are under the State Department’s “Level 2: Increased caution when traveling” advisory.

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