It's March — and that means spring break is around the corner for many college students. But Texas officials are advising students to avoid going to Mexico, saying that drug violence there isn't isolated to border areas.
The Texas Department of Public Safety put out a document today listing potential dangers to students traveling to Mexico for their schools' holiday. DPS officials also urged travelers to do careful research before any trip.
Here are more details from John Burnett:
The warning from DPS Director Steve McCraw is direct: "Avoid traveling to Mexico during Spring Break and stay alive."
He cites worsening drug-related violence and mayhem occurring not only in Mexico's northern border states, but throughout the country.
The current U.S. State Department Travel Warning for Mexico—dated September 2010—is slightly less alarming. It says while the security situation all over Mexico poses risks for U.S. citizens, resorts and tourist areas do not see the levels of drug-related violence and crime reported in the border region.
The State Department advises the more than 100,000 young Americans who flock to Mexican beach resorts over spring break every year to practice situational awareness, common sense, and phone home periodically to inform family members of their safety and whereabouts.
For updates on conditions in Mexico, you can check the U.S. Embassy in Mexico site. As of this writing, three warnings — in Nuevo Laredo, Nuevo Leon and Guadalajara — are listed.
And for anyone who just can't stay away from Mexico this spring, the State Department also has a "Know Before You Go" page, listing the basics of traveling (and returning) safely. Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.