Texas Issues Travel Warnings

Texas Issues Travel Warnings

(NewsSpace.com) – On Friday, March 3, four Americans who had traveled to Mexico were kidnapped. Shortly after they crossed the border, heavily-armed men opened fire on the minivan they were in, then dragged the victims to a pickup truck and drove away. Several days later, authorities found the victims, but sadly, two had been killed. The other two were transported back to the United States, where they received treatment in a Texas hospital. The State Department issued “Do Not Travel” warnings following the kidnapping. Now, with spring break rapidly approaching, the state of Texas is doing the same.

On Friday, March 10, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) put out a travel bulletin warning those headed on spring break not to travel to Mexico because of the “ongoing violence throughout that country.” The notice specifically calls out “drug cartel violence,” which represents a “significant safety threat” for anyone.

Though DPS acknowledges that many people travel to the country without incident, “serious risks cannot be ignored.” They ask that those who decide to visit the nation anyway register with the nearest Consulate or US Embassy prior to heading south. DPS Director Steven McCraw said the agency “has a duty to inform the public” about the safety hazards involved.

The State Department has several Mexican states on its “Do Not Travel” list, including Tamaulipas, which is where the four Americans — Eric James Williams, Shaheed Woodard, Latvia McGee, and Zindell Brown — were kidnapped in the city of Matamoros. Others include Colima, Zacatecas, Sinaloa, Michoacan, and Guerrero. Additionally, there are seven states the government asks citizens to reconsider traveling to.

The majority of the threats come from the border regions where cartels are present and active. There are lots of turf wars in the area, which is ruled by the notorious Gulf cartel, and thousands of Mexican citizens have disappeared in the state of Tamaulipas.

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