Published March 02, 2011
The Texas Department of Public Safety has issued a travel warning to college students on spring break, urging them not to travel to Mexico, MyFoxAustin.com reports.
Authorities are pointing to several recent incidents of drug-related violence in the country, including the murders of a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent and two El Paso boys last month.
DPS Assistant Chief Tom Vinger said many American students feel invincible while vacationing in popular spring break destinations, like Cancun or Acapulco.
"This age group does not think about this,” Vinger said. “They think they're bulletproof, but just cause you're an American tourist doesn't mean you're immune from violence."
Despite the warning, some students say they won't let the violence deter them from going.
"The scary part is what’s cool about it," Jen Fomby, a University of Texas senior, said in an interview with MyFoxAustin.com.
The DPS also is warning spring break students to stay away from the U.S. side of Falcon Lake, where American David Hartley was shot and killed by suspected drug cartel members in October. His body has not been recovered.
"The problem with Mexico is there are parts that are probably safer than others and people do come and go safely, but trying to navigate those areas is very dangerous, especially for people who aren't aware,” Vinger said.
The DPS says 65 Americans were killed in Mexico last year. About 30,000 Mexicans have been killed since 2006 due to drug-related violence that includes kidnappings, sexual assaults, robberies and carjackings, according to the station.