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Colleges warn students about Mexico travel

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posted on Feb, 27 2009 @ 04:13 AM

Colleges warn students about Mexico travel

PHOENIX – The U.S. State Department and universities around the country are warning college students headed for Mexico for some spring-break partying of a surge in drug-related murder and mayhem south of the border.

"We're not necessarily telling students not to go, but we're going to certainly alert them," said Tom Dougan, vice president for student affairs at the University of Rhode Island. "There have been Americans kidnapped, and if you go you need to be very aware and very alert to this fact."

More than 100,000 high school- and college-age Americans travel to Mexican resort areas during spring break each year. Much of the drug violence is happening in border towns, and tourists have generally not been targeted, though there have been killings in the big spring-break resorts of Acapulco and Cancun, well away from the border.
(visit the link for the full news article)

posted on Feb, 27 2009 @ 04:13 AM
Beirut at one time was a real big tourist hotspot. People would come from all over to see the "Paris of the Middle East".

Beirut was once like Cancun.

Mexico is now in the midst of a Low Intensity Conflict, a fancy way of saying guerilla war. Thousands of Mexican troops are engaged in combat against narcoguerillas and narcoterrorists across the country. The druglords who head the cartels have become nothing more than warlords.

I would think twice before heading to Cancun this spring break and if I had to really go I would be at very least packing body armor.
(visit the link for the full news article)

posted on Mar, 1 2009 @ 12:05 AM
from the Canadian Government site

The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety. The purpose of this Travel Report is to provide Canadians with up-to-date information to enable them to make well-informed decisions.

General Safety Measures

Demonstrations and protests regularly occur in large cities. Canadians should avoid large gatherings and demonstrations, which could lead to violent incidents at all times. Participation in political demonstrations by foreigners is prohibited and may result in detention, expulsion and the denial of future entry into Mexico.

Canadians travelling to the state of Oaxaca should monitor local media reports closely. Incidents, roadblocks and clashes continue to occur in the city of Oaxaca. Beach resorts like Puerto Escondido and Huatulco have not been affected by these events.

Warnings on swimming conditions posted on beaches should be taken seriously. Many beaches are not supervised or do not offer warnings. When in doubt, consult the hotel staff.

You should ensure the recreational activities you choose are covered by your travel insurance or by a local insurance. Ensure sporting and aquatic equipment is safe and in good condition, especially for scuba diving. Many operators do not conduct regular safety checks. There have been cases of Canadians who have been involved in accidents where operators demanded compensation in excess of the value of the damage caused to the vehicle or equipment.

Exercise caution when standing close to balcony railings, as deaths and injuries have resulted from falls. Height standards for balcony railings in Mexico can be considerably lower than those in Canada.


Visitors should be aware of their surroundings at all times while travelling throughout the country, even in areas generally considered safe. Crimes, including armed robbery, purse snatching, and pick-pocketing, occur frequently. The arrest and detention rate is low and contributes to high levels of criminality.

If you are the victim of a crime, report it immediately to the Agencia del Ministerio Público nearest to the crime scene. No criminal investigation is possible without a formal complaint to Mexican authorities. You must present photo identification. It is especially important to report the loss or theft of your identification documents (to Mexican authorities and to the Embassy or the nearest consulate of Canada in Mexico), in order to protect yourself should the documents later be misused.

For emergency services, dial 060 or 066.

Organized Crime

In northern Mexico and all cities bordering the United States, organized crime and urban violence affect security. Crimes, murders and firefights linked to drug turf wars have risen substantially, mainly in the states of Baja California, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Durango, Guerrero, Michoacán, Nuevo Leon and Sinaloa. Canadians travelling to the Ciudad Juárez region should be particularly aware of their surroundings and monitor local news.
In various parts of the country, military and federal police forces have been deployed in efforts to combat organized crime and improve security conditions. They maintain a visible presence patrolling the streets, setting up roadblocks and conducting random vehicle checks. Amed clashes between security forces and drug groups are commonplace in certain areas and can occur at any time without warning. Travellers could get caught in the crossfire.

In the state of Chiapas, near the border with Guatemala, the use of firearms between criminal gangs has often been reported. While Canadians are not specifically targeted, they risk being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Law enforcement and police protection are often lacking.


Thefts occur regularly. You should dress down, avoid wearing or carrying expensive jewellery, and carry only small amounts of cash. Keep your luggage secure at all times. In resort areas, leave your passport and valuables in your hotel safe, not in your hotel room or on the beach while you are swimming.

There have been reports of foreigners being targeted for assault and robbery, which are sometimes violent. Victims are followed upon exchanging or withdrawing money in the arrival areas of Benito Juarez International Airport in Mexico City. It is therefore recommended to avoid withdrawing or exchanging money in the public areas of the airport. Should you absolutely need to do so, financial transactions should be done before exiting the customs area.

You should withdraw or exchange money at Automated Banking Machines (ABMs) or exchange bureaus (casas de cambio) during daylight hours only, and inside shops and malls rather than on the street. Keep your credit card in sight when paying.


Incidents of assault and sexual aggression against foreigners have been reported. In some cases, hotel employees, taxi drivers and security personnel have been implicated. Avoid walking after dark, especially alone, and avoid unpopulated areas. You should only frequent bars and night-clubs as part of a group and avoid separating from the group. In cases of sexual assault, police authorities will require a medical examination.

Be careful accepting food, drinks, invitations or rides from strangers or recent acquaintances. Avoid leaving your food and drinks unattended in bars and restaurants. There have been cases of travellers being robbed or assaulted after being drugged.


Kidnappings occur frequently in large urban areas. The most common practice involves thieves working in cooperation with, or posing as taxi drivers. The thieves force victims to withdraw money from ABMs with their debit or credit cards in exchange for their release. Kidnappers target both the wealthy and middle class. Foreigners are not specifically targeted.

posted on Mar, 1 2009 @ 12:09 AM

Criminals posing as police officers have approached tourists and asked for their passports or for foreign currency. There have also been cases of legitimate police officers extorting money from tourists or arresting tourists for minor offences. If this occurs, you should not hand over your money or your passport. Instead, you should ask for the officer’s name, badge number and patrol car number, and proceed to the nearest Agencia del Ministerio Público and Tourism Office to file a complaint.

Avoid divulging personal information to strangers. Scam artists have gathered information on luggage tags in hotel lobbies and later convinced guests to give them their contact information in Canada. Once done, they have called parents of travelling Canadians to report that their child has been detained or hospitalized and have requested that money be wired to Mexico.

Source and more

posted on Mar, 1 2009 @ 12:09 AM

I feel like I am walking on egg shells and being very careful about the words I choose.

To be safe,

College students as well as everybody else should be made aware of all the dangers in Mexico. It is a very violent place due to well known reasons,

posted on Mar, 1 2009 @ 12:12 AM
reply to post by jam321

Not to mention that many of them will be funding their trips with credit cards.

More money that won't be payed back.

Why do they even call them credit cards?

They should be called "debt cards" as that is essentially what they are.

posted on Mar, 1 2009 @ 02:40 PM
The same way Prohibition pushed the Mafia into power, this failed "War on Drugs" is putting these drug cartels into power and costing way more lives than it's meant to save and protect.

posted on Mar, 1 2009 @ 02:47 PM
Here,s another thread going on right now that's alot more in depth about the going ons down there.'

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