U.S. students warned against spring break in Mexico

Tue Mar 1, 2011 2:34pm EST
 
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AUSTIN, Tex. (Reuters Life!) - College students in Texas who are planning to celebrate spring break have been advised to stay away from Mexico because of the dangers of drug violence.

In the warning Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw cited violence near the border and throughout the country.

"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," McCraw said in a written statement on Tuesday.

"Our safety message is simple: avoid traveling to Mexico during Spring Break and stay alive."

The department urged students to stay on the U.S. side of Falcon Lake, a popular fishing and boating spot on the Rio Grande border, where American David Hartley was shot and killed last September.

Officials also pointed to the killing of Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent Jaime Zapata near San Luis Potosi in February.

McCraw also added the "various crime problems exist" in popular resort destinations such as Acapulco and Cancun.

Spokeswoman Tela Mange said the spring break warning is directed toward all Texans, but especially students.

"We are concerned about the potentially dangerous combination of youthful visitors, alcohol and drug traffickers fighting each other in the streets," Mange said.

(Reporting by Corrie MacLaggan; Editing by Greg McCune and Patricia Reaney; For the latest Reuters lifestyle news see: www.reuters.com/news/lifestyle))

 
<p>Two U.S. spring breakers dance at a nightclub in Mexico's prime tourist resort Cancun March 15, 2006. REUTERS/Victor Ruiz</p>