Spring break: the time where most college students love to get away from the horrors of school and go on vacation with their friends somewhere warm. However, according to ABCNEWS.com, as spring break gets closer, the U.S. Government is issuing a warning to Americans to stay away from the majority of areas in Mexico due to the rising violence of drug cartels. The government also tells travelers that are planning to go Mexico’s most well-known destinations to stay close to the hotel.
An expanded travel warning from the U.S. State Department says that U.S. travelers should avoid 10 states in Mexico, including most of the northern and western portions. The most popular destination that will be hit hard by the warning is Acapulco, as the State Department has advised Americans not to travel no more than two blocks inland from the boulevard that runs along the popular beaches. The warning also mentions to keep a low profile and to avoid dressing or showing any signs of wealth.
A similar warning was issued last year, however, the State Department had to expand on the warning only recently because of the strong levels of drug-related violence that has taken many American victims lives by homicide, gun battles, kidnapping, carjacking and highway robbery. The warning also mentions that travelers should avoid traveling to the following states of Mexico: Chihuahua, Coahuila, Durango, Tamaulipas, Nuevo Leon, San Luis Potosi, Sinaloa, Sonora, Zacatecas, Aguascalientes, Guerrero, Jalisco, Michoacán and Nayarit.
“While any loss of life is regrettable, figures from both U.S. and Mexican officials clearly show that resort areas and tourist destinations do not generally see the levels of violence experienced in some areas of the border,” said Ricardo Albey, a spokesman for the Mexican Embassy in Washington. “As the same travel alert states, millions of Americans travel to Mexico every year for tourism and about 150,000 cross south the border every single day.”
“Mexico continues to be the number one foreign tourist destination for U.S. travelers, and home to the largest U.S. expat community in the world, with around 1 million of Americans living permanently in Mexico,” he added.
Mexico is not the only place that the U.S. government is warning to stay away from, as Jamaica has also been issued a similar warning. Just recently, many shootings have been occurring near the international airport areas of Kingston and Montego Bay. Travelers are urged to stay within the resort areas. Once someone steps off the resort area, locals may come up and ask for drugs as well as other services.
There have also been reports of sexual assaults on U.S. tourists, and some that has been caused by the resort staff members. The law enforcement in Jamaica is understaffed and ineffective, so the vast majority of areas in Jamaica pay little attention to sexual assaults, drug trafficking, theft and violence. All these warnings mentioned are meant to be taken seriously, and travelers should be aware of their surroundings at all times.