DPS urges holiday travelers to avoid Mexico

TYLER, TX - The Texas Department of Public Safety is urging Texans to avoid traveling to Mexico during the holidays.

"Mexican drug cartel-related violence continues in the northern Mexican border cities, and other locations such as Monterrey and Acapulco. Drug-related or other criminal activity has been documented in popular tourist destinations such as Cancun and Mazatlan. The safety and security of holiday travelers cannot be guaranteed if they venture into Mexico," said DPS Director Steven C. McCraw.

The rising tide of violence in Mexico is well-documented from a variety of sources. Kidnappings, violence between cartels and battles between cartels and law enforcement authorities have escalated in recent years.

The U.S. State Department website lists travel information related to violence in Mexico. Among the items noted on the website:

• Kidnapping, including the kidnapping of non-Mexicans, continues at alarming rates.

• Criminal assaults have occurred on highways throughout Mexico; travelers should exercise caution at all times; avoid traveling at night.

• Rape and sexual assault continue to be serious problems in Cancun and other resort areas.

• Mexican authorities have failed to prosecute numerous crimes committed against U. S. citizens, including murders and kidnappings.

"We recognize people safely travel and vacation in Mexico on a daily basis, but the increase in violence is also a reality," said McCraw. "There are no guarantees that drug-related violence will spare innocent bystanders and that criminals will refrain from attacking tourists."

Travelers should always check the U.S. State Department website for the most up-to-date information related to security issues in Mexico.