The U.S. government warns that Mexico's bloody drug war is a viable threat to tourists.
Beach cities is Mexico have long been a hub for American college students who want to spend their Spring Break in a booze-induced haze. While the U.S. government has previously turned a blind eye to young adults misbehavior in their neighboring country, the heightened violence has caused the government to take a stand and release two different warnings.
In a travel advisory issued last week, the U.S. State Department warns "Large firefights have taken place in many towns and cities across Mexico. During some of these incidents, U.S. citizens have been trapped.”
Along with the State Department's warning issued only a week and a half before, another government department has issued their own warning about traveling to Mexico. The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives also advised young adults to avoid areas with drugs and prostitution.
In border cities just this past week, one police chief quit after drug gangs started killing police officers, gunmen opened fire on a governor’s convoy killing a bodyguard, and ten people died in a 4-hour shootout involving grenades and bazookas.
"I would avoid going to Mexico mostly likely because of that," said college student Julie Harrison. "I wouldn't want to get caught up in that. There is a lot of violence going on."
Tijuana is listed as one of the cities that have recently "experienced public shootouts during the daylight hours in shopping centers and other public venues," according to the advisory.
But travel agents say most tourist towns like Cancun are still popular. Some even suggest places like Cabo San Lucas and Puerto Vallarta are safe for tourists.
If you are interested in traveling to Mexico, visit the State Department website for information on staying safe.