Texas for third year warns against spring break Mexico

Tue Mar 6, 2012 6:50pm EST
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By Jim Forsyth

SAN ANTONIO (Reuters) - Texas on Tuesday warned residents for the third consecutive year not to travel to Mexico during the upcoming university spring break season, saying drug cartel violence and other criminal activity are a safety threat even in resort areas.

The advisory comes despite pleas from top Mexican officials to target the travel warnings to specific areas where the threat of violence is greatest.

Mexican officials said that popular tourist areas such as Cancun and Cabo San Lucas are safe for American travelers.

Drug violence has claimed an estimated 40,000 lives in Mexico since 2006.

"The Mexican government has made great strides battling the cartels, and we commend their continued commitment to making Mexico a safer place to live and visit," Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw said. "However, drug cartel violence and other criminal activity represent a significant safety threat, even in some resort areas."

Last year, Texas officials also warned against visiting any part of Mexico during spring break. In 2010, Texas urged spring breakers to avoid northern Mexican border cities.

The number of Americans murdered in Mexico jumped from 35 in 2007 to 120 last year, McCraw said.

"Many crimes against Americans in Mexico go unpunished," he said.   Continued...