Contradicting facts, AZ República promotes Mexico as destination for students
It’s that time again. For many, spring break means fun in the sun and a break from studies. But the Texas Department of Public Safety brings a strong dose of reality to revelers planning a trip to Mexico. “Don’t go.”
“There is an increase in Mexican drug cartel related violence in the northern Mexican border cities. Parents should not allow their children to visit these Mexican cities because their safety cannot be guaranteed,” Texas DPS director Steven C. McCraw has stated. A warning cited violent crime from battling drug cartels as reasons to avoid traveling anywhere south of the border.
“The situation in Mexico today is significantly different than it was just a decade ago,” said McCraw. “Many crimes against Americans in Mexico go unpunished, and we have a responsibility to inform the public about safety and travel risks and threats. Based on the unpredictable nature of cartel violence and other criminal elements, we are urging individuals to avoid travel to Mexico at this time.”
Mexico’s tourism chief Rodolfo Lopez-Negrete denounced the warning. “The DPS has the right to inform as they see fit, but we believe that what they are conveying in the content of the travel alert is not the reality in Mexico.”
Those reading this morning’s Periódico de la República de Arizona (Arizona Republic) are led to believe that all is copasetic. An article by Daniel Gonzales, touting the once popular Puerto Penasco (Rocky Point) as a spring break destination, opens with a quote from a Mexican tourism official declaring Americans are becoming “more confident about safety” in the Sonoran beach town. This foolishness comes despite increases in reported robberies and assaults against U.S. citizens, a violent gun battle on a main street in the town last summer and the June 2010 shooting of the police chief and his body guard.
Even the U.S. State Department, acknowledging the violence, recently updated its traveler warning to Mexico by declaring a lengthy list of states and cities to be dangerous. But the feds dance around their alert, so as not to tangle with Mexican officials who repeatedly deny the danger, since tourism is a major source of revenue for the country. Canada is more forthright in its warnings, advising its citizens against non-essential travel to Mexico and to exercise extreme caution due to high levels of organized crime and urban violence. However, the Feds clearly state, “U.S. citizens in Puerto Penasco are encouraged to maintain a high level of vigilance and to take appropriate steps to bolster their personal security following a July 2012 mid-day gun battle between TCO members and increases in reported robberies and assaults against U.S. citizens.”
Fox News reports on the harrowing experience of 22 Carnival cruise ship passengers who were robbed at gunpoint by hooded bandits while returning from a nature hike near the tourist destination of Puerto Vallarta. Mexico’s tourism board labeled the attack a “rare and isolated incident.”
Last month, six tourists were violently gang-raped for hours in the resort community of Acapulco by armed thugs who broke into their apartment. The rapists celebrated their vicious attacks with mescal and spared one woman because she passed the ‘nationality test’ of being Mexican, the UK’s Daily Mail reports.
In 2009 Seeing Red AZ posted Spring break? Best advice: stay out of Mexico.
Thinking of a spring break destination? Stay away from Mexico was our 2010 post. The only thing that has changed is that criminality is becoming increasingly violent and does not exclude tourists.
Travel to Mexico: Feds finally acknowledge extreme danger, April 2011 warnings specifically include Northern Sonora and Puerto Penasco.
Spring Break 2013? Arizona’s own Lake Havasu is the hottest place to be.