Spring Breakers Gather Near Mexico Border, Seemingly Unaware Of Criminal Threat, US Warnings
Spring breakers have gathered near the southern border, seemingly unaware of the travel and crime security issues occurring nearby in Mexico.
The US Mission to Mexico issued a new warning last week, noting that “every year thousands of US citizens visit Mexico during spring break.” Among the various ongoing concerns in the country, the mission listed violent crime, drugs, unregulated alcohol and sexual assault.
The mission also pointed to an October 2022 travel advisory in which the US State Department warned against travel to the states of Colima, Guerrero, Michoacán, Sinaloa, Tamaulipas and Zacatecas, while suggesting that Americans reconsider trips to another half-dozen states.
But spring breakers continue to gather near the border, some of them seemed aware of the ongoing dangers in Mexico while others seemed unaware or even cared.
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Fox News Digital spoke with some of the students vacationing in South Padre Island, Texas, which ranks as the fourth most popular spring break destination after Cancun, Miami Beach and Jamaica, according to US News.
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Nicole from McAllen, Texas, told Fox News Digital that she currently has no plans to travel to Mexico, but crosses the border from time to time to get cheaper products, saying it’s not was “just business”.
“They do what they have to do – they have to sell, promote – they have cheaper stuff on that side,” she said.
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Part of the “cheaper products” includes many counterfeit drugs found in pharmacies near the border. UCLA conducted a study in tourist towns in northern Mexico, examining drugs purchased from pharmacies and finding counterfeit pills containing fentanyl, heroin or methamphetamines.
The researchers were able to obtain the pills without a prescription and found that 68% of the 40 pharmacies surveyed in the study sold at least one controlled substance.
Other spring breakers, also from McAllen, told Fox News Digital they weren’t sure if it would be safe to go to Mexico.
“I’ve never been,” said one of the girls, saying she wasn’t planning on going but “didn’t know” if it was safe.
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The Texas Department of Public Safety also warned against travel, citing the recent kidnapping of four Americans, two of whom died, after crossing the border allegedly seeking medical intervention. The cartel responsible for the incident fired five people who claimed to be responsible for the incident and acted without authorization.
“We have a duty to educate the public about security, travel risks and threats,” DPS Director Steven McCraw said in a statement. “Based on the volatile nature of cartel activity and the violence we are seeing there, we urge individuals to avoid traveling to Mexico at this time.”
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But the occasion continued to draw huge crowds to the area, with college students eager to indulge in the annual cultural tradition and getaway. Officials reported that around 2.1 million people visited the island last year during the month of March, according to Valley Central.
South Padre Island has DJs performing throughout the month, with musical artists Lil Wayne and Steve Aoki, among others, performing last week.
The U.S. Mission to Mexico advises anyone planning to travel to Mexico to enroll in the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program for up-to-date safety information.
Additionally, the mission suggests staying together as a group, regularly monitoring credit and debit card spending for unauthorized transactions, keeping friends and family informed of all travel plans, and safeguarding personal property. when using public transport.