** ADVANCE FOR SUNDAY, DEC. 31 **A National Guard soldier peers over the vast Otay Mountain Valley as he assists the Border Patrol infrared scope unit as agents search the area for smugglers in San Diego Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2006. The unit directs other agents in the area when they sight smugglers bringing illegal immigrants into the country. (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi)
The following is a news release from the Texas Department of Public Safety.
The Texas Department of Public Safety is urging Texans to avoid traveling to Mexico during the holidays.
"Mexican drug cartel-related violence continues in the northern Mexican border cities, and other locations such as Monterrey and Acapulco. Drug-related or other criminal activity has been documented in popular tourist destinations such as Cancun and Mazatlan. The safety and security of holiday travelers cannot be guaranteed if they venture into Mexico," said DPS Director Steven C. McCraw.
The rising tide of violence in Mexico is well-documented from a variety of sources. Kidnappings, violence between cartels and battles between cartels and law enforcement authorities have escalated in recent years.
The U.S. State Department website lists travel information related to violence in Mexico. Among the items noted on the website:
"We recognize people safely travel and vacation in Mexico on a daily basis, but the increase in violence is also a reality," said McCraw. "There are no guarantees that drug-related violence will spare innocent bystanders and that criminals will refrain from attacking tourists."
Travelers should always check the U.S. State Department website for the most up-to-date information related to security issues in Mexico.