Due to growing drug-related violence in Mexico, the U.S. State Department has issued a travel alert for Americans visiting the border regions. Though the attacks are focused primarily at drug-trafficking gangs, Mexican police, and criminal justice officials, victims of homicide and kidnapping have included foreign tourists and residents. Visitors should be aware of their safety at all times, and avoid any areas with heavy drug dealing or prostitution.
American Ambassador Antonio O. Garza Jr. feels this alert will help inform U.S. tourists of this particularly violent time at the border. President Felipe Calderon launched a military campaign 15 months ago against major drug lords, and the results so far have been bloody. It was reported in February that 50 people have been murdered in the once lively town of Tijuana since the beginning of the year, after 2,500 people died in the drug wars of 2007.
There are still plenty of places in Mexico that remain unaffected, including the popular spring break destination, Cancun. However, it’s important to stay out of harm’s way and remain informed of the situation at hand.