The U.S. State Department has issued a warning to Spring Break tourists that there’s an increase in violence south of the border. As Emily Turner reports, the surge in violence is making many spring breakers rethink their travel plans.
For a group of fraternity brothers, Spring Break 2009 will have to be relocated. Wade Greene says, “We had a really good time in Playa last year, in Mexico and really wish we could go back, but it’s not looking like it’s going to happen this year.”
The U.S. State Department recently renewed a travel advisory warning Americans about the increase in drug-related violence south of the border. It is estimated that more than 100,000 American teens and young adults go to Mexico for Spring Break every year.
Melanie Williams is a travel agent for Gulf South Travel. She says since the alert was issued, she has gotten many calls from concerned vacation-goers. “We’ve been telling our clients yes it’s safe but make sure you use precaution.”
The State Department says the drug cartels are engaged in a bloody battle among themselves for control of certain areas: particularly Tijuana, Baja, and northern Mexico. While tourists have generally not been targeted, Williams says travel companies are taking precautions to ensure their clients are not in danger. “They will pull the cruise ship from the port and visit a different port of call that is safe.”
Still, many are choosing to stay behind. Joe Berwick says, “Since we can’t do that I guess Gulf Shores will have to do. We’ll try to scare up a good time and figure out something.”
6,000 people were killed in drug violence in Mexico last year alone.