College students are getting a blunt warning from the Texas Department of Public Safety, says the Dallas Morning News: “Avoid traveling to Mexico during spring break and stay alive.” The unusual admonition from director Steven McCraw was tied to worsening drug-related violence and other crimes that have moved from the border to other parts of that country. “Underestimating the violence in Mexico would be a mistake for parents and students,” McCraw said. On CBS’ Early Show, U.S. Rep. Ted Poe said, “Mexico is not safe for Americans or Mexican nationals, because the drug cartels are really operating at will in different portions.”
A year ago, the Texas department warned only against travel to border cities. The latest alert was the agency's third in three months that advised staying totally out of Mexico. Some travel experts in Texas and Mexican tourism officials said the state was exaggerating the risk. Some students said they don't plan to scrub their warm-weather trips. “I'm not going to let being scared keep me from vacation,” said Grace Roberts, a junior at Southern Methodist University who will be celebrating a belated 21st birthday in Cabo San Lucas with five girlfriends.