Ahead of spring break and in the wake of a deadly attack by members of a Mexican drug cartel on a group of American tourists, authorities in Texas have issued a stern warning against crossing the nation’s southern border.
According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, such trips should be canceled indefinitely in response to the ongoing violence.
“Drug cartel violence and other criminal activity represent a significant safety threat to anyone who crosses into Mexico right now,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “We have a duty to inform the public about safety, travel risks, and threats.”
He cited “the volatile nature of cartel activity and the violence we are seeing there” in justifying the advisory against making any trip to Mexico.
In a statement released on Friday, the agency confirmed that it was “urging Texans to avoid traveling to Mexico during spring break, and beyond, due to the ongoing violence throughout that country.”
Late last month, a trio of Texas residents traveled to Mexico to sell items at a flea market and had not been heard from since, as of the most recent reports available.
The FBI addressed this case, but did not provide any specifics. According to the bureau, it was “unable to provide comment on this ongoing investigation” but asserted that it “relentlessly pursues all options when it comes to protecting the American people, and this doesn’t change when they are endangered across the border.”
The DPS warning comes on the heels of a more nuanced advisory at the federal level. Officials in the U.S. Department of State called on Americans to avoid all travel to six of Mexico’s 32 states and use extreme caution when visiting 24 others.
Four Americans were kidnapped last month after crossing the border so one member of the group could obtain a medical procedure. Two were killed and a third was seriously injured.
The notorious drug cartel Grupo Escorpiones subsequently issued an apology for the kidnapping and claimed that it “decided to turn over those who were directly involved and responsible in the events, who at all times acted under their own decision-making and lack of discipline.”
5 members of Mexico’s “Gulf Cartel” who kidnapped 4 Americans and killed 2 of them — have been tied up and dumped in the street with an “apology letter” pic.twitter.com/jgcvdV3L9Y
— Daily Loud (@DailyLoud) March 9, 2023
According to the cartel, the five individuals violated fundamental rules about “respecting the life and well-being of the innocent.”