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Spring Break News Wire 2010: Spring Breakers Warned of Traveling to Mexico

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An estimated 10,000 college students will likely make their way down to Acapulco this spring break despite numerous warnings and appeals from the state government to college students to avoid Mexico.

Like last year, warnings have been issued to use extreme caution or evade completely any travel across the U.S.-Mexico border as drug-related disturbances and brutal cartel killings have intensified in recent months.

Well-known resort spots such as Acapulco, where MTV is planning to host their popular spring break show, has seen, this past weekend alone, at least 17 cartel-connected murders, four of which were beheadings, a heinous cartel brand style of execution.

Colleges and universities across the U.S. are urging students to reconsider plans to Mexico this spring. Schools near the Texas and California borders are adamantly advising students to steer completely clear of border towns where so much of the violence has occurred.

Parents are also being told to not allow their children to travel to the neighboring country because student travelers’ “safety cannot be guaranteed,” in a statement made by Steven McCraw, Texas Department of Public Safety Director earlier this month. Yet, the Wall Street Journal reported a lack of concern by both parents and students.

Do Not Leave the Resort Area

If you do plan to travel to Mexico this spring break, stay alert. Most of the violence has occurred between cartel members and law enforcement, but hostility toward bystanders or tourists is not unusual. Security and police presence have greatly increased in Mexican resort areas, calming some fears of possible attacks on tourists, and as spring break activities have already started this week, the ramped surveillance is working. However, officials are strongly recommending that spring breakers stay near the tourist areas and not travel outside of the resort property.

When traveling in Mexico:

  • Apprise family members or friends of your travel plans and stay in contact with them frequently. (Cell phone coverage may be limited in remote areas.)
  • Do not travel on foot in large crowds or participate in activist demonstrations where violence can typically occur. (Non-Mexican citizens are forbidden by Mexican law to participate in any protest and can be subject to arrest.)
  • Do not travel through cities at night or take back roads.
  • Avoid all border towns. Border cities like Nogales, Cuidad Juarez, and Tijuana remain the most dangerous.
  • Always travel in a group.
  • Do not flaunt cash, jewelry, or any kind of valuable as you may be targeted for crime.
  • Be cautious when approached by strangers.
  • Stay in designated tourist areas.
  • Stay on top of current situations regarding any increase in violence.

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