The Mexico Tourism Board is deeply concerned by the travel warning recently released by the Texas Department of Public Safety, a top official said Wednesday in an email.
This warning is exceptionally aggressive, said Rodolfo Lopez Negrete, the board's chief operating officer. To paint Mexico with such a massively broad brush stroke is simply outrageous.
Negrete's comments come after the travel warning reported 12,903 narcotics-related homicides in Mexico in the first nine months of 2011 alone.
The Mexican government has made great strides battling the cartels and we commend their continued commitment to making Mexico a safer place to live and visit, Texas DPS Director Steven McCraw acknowledged in the warning.
However, drug cartel violence and other criminal activity represent a significant safety threat, even in some resort areas, he added.
This is the third year in a row that Texas has issued a spring break travel warning raising concerns about the lack of security in popular tourist areas.
Many crimes against Americans in Mexico go unpunished, and we have a responsibility to inform the public about safety and travel risks and threats, McGraw said. Based on the unpredictable nature of cartel violence and other criminal elements, we are urging individuals to avoid travel to Mexico at this time.
The time McGraw is referring to is the middle chunk of March, when college students take their weeklong trips to areas where the sand is hot and the people are friendly.
But according to the warning issued by the Texas DPS, some people in Mexico are not at friendly as you might think.
The advisory bullet points certain facts, stating how some bars and nightclubs, especially in resort cities such as Cancun, Acapulco, Mazatlan, Cabo San Lucas and Tijuana, can be havens for drug dealers and petty criminals.
After hearing this I might be more reluctant to leave the resort grounds, said Julia Klimchak, a Bentley University student headed to Cancun for spring break. But it definitely won't stop me from going on my trip.
But when asked if she planned to head to any of the many Cancun nighspots, Klimchak went on to say I don't think so since it doesn't seem so safe.
According to the MTB, Mexico continues to be the number one destination for Americans, with 22.7 million international visitors in 2011.