In the last few months two travel warnings have been issued by the Texas chief of public safety, warning students traveling on spring break and at the holidays that should they contemplate an excursion to Mexico – specifically areas such as Cancun, Tijuana, and Acapulco – that they are at serious risk of physical harm due to “crossfire of indiscriminate drug violence.”
According to Reuters, the actual message from Texas was a little less diplomatic than that, stating simply “our safety message is simple: avoid traveling to Mexico during Spring Break and stay alive.”
Given the impact that this kind of warning would have on the Mexican tourist industry, the Mexican tourist authorities are quite concerned about revenue loss. Twenty-two million tourists choose Mexico as a travel destination annually and fully sixty percent of those are from the U.S. Of the U.S. citizens traveling, one third either fly through a Texas airport or live in Texas.
The State Department reports that one hundred eleven Americans were murdered in Mexico last year, up from thirty five four years ago. On top of that, recent high profile murders in Acapulco have put tourists on alert.
Of course, Texas telling Mexico that there is too much violence is like a prostitute telling a hustler he should not accept cash for sex. In 2009 in Texas there were 121,668 violent crimes and 1,328 murders.
Perhaps Mexico should consider it’s own travel warning.