[Fox News] US warning on Mexico spring break travel, top threats facing Americans

Read Time:5 Minute, 21 Second

Spring breakers should be wary of Mexican excursions as cartel violence and unregulated, powerfully laced drugs threaten popular resort towns like Cancun, according to a warning by the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Mexico.

The warning, issued Feb. 26, details 10 potential threats and dangers, some of which have nothing to do with violence, but are things Americans might not even think about, such as drowning, immigration or medical emergencies.

The white-sand beaches and crystal-blue waters along the coast are inviting, but some beaches have strong undercurrents and rip tides without the safety of lifeguards or even warnings about unsafe conditions, the embassy said

“You need to be a savvy traveler wherever you go, whether it’s Cancun, to Europe, or the United States,” private investigator Jay Armes III told Fox News Digital. “You can’t go to places with what I call a tourist mindset. That’s when you are in vacation mode, and you’ve got blinders on. You are oblivious to everything going on around you.”

TROPICAL RESORTS POPULAR WITH AMERICANS NO LONGER ‘OFF LIMITS’ FOR CARTEL KILLERS: ‘THE RULES HAVE CHANGED’

Armes said vacationers, especially young spring breakers, do not want to know about anything “bad” happening near them. 

“When you’re in that (tourist) mindset, you are not picking up on things that you should pick up on,” he said, “and you’re doing things that you normally wouldn’t do. You’re taking risks and going to places that you normally wouldn’t.”

FLORIDA SPRING BREAK HAS FAMILY BEACH TOWNS BRACING FOR CROWDS AS MIAMI BEACH CRACKS DOWN

That is the crux of the U.S. embassy’s warning, as well. “Travel smart. Be informed.”

“Each year, thousands of U.S. citizens visit Mexico during spring break,” the warning says. “While the vast majority travel safely, visitors should consider the following when planning their vacation or traveling in Mexico.”

Cartel violence is the root of five of the warnings: Crime, drugs, unregulated alcohol, pharmaceuticals and sexual assaults are the top five. 

In the last month, a number of high-profile crimes involving Americans made international news in the U.S., including a California woman fatally shot in the crossfire between rival cartels and a New Yorker who was kidnapped and left in a secluded jungle with eyes taped and bound by his wrists and ankles. 

EXCLUSIVE: MOM OF AMERICAN IN ALLEGED BAHAMAS SEX ATTACK SAYS DAUGHTER TEXTED, ‘WE’VE BEEN RAPED’

Armes told Fox News Digital in a previous interview about why four warring cartels are invading popular tourist hot spots – a highly coveted 80-mile strip of land along the coast from Cancun to Tulum – that were once off limits to gang violence. 

The embassy’s warning backs Armes’ breakdown, saying, “Crime, including violent crime, can occur anywhere in Mexico, including in popular tourist destinations.  Travelers should maintain a high level of situational awareness, avoid areas where illicit activities occur and promptly depart from potentially dangerous situations. 

“U.S. citizens should exercise increased caution in the downtown areas of popular spring break locations including Cancun, Playa Del Carmen and Tulum, especially after dark.”

Besides avoiding violence, the U.S. warns about undercurrents and rip tides at certain beaches and medical emergencies, which would likely require payment (sometimes only in cash) before either providing treatment or discharging a patient.

The last three all tie together: illegal guns that result in jail time, arrests for minor offenses like drunk and disorderly conduct or public urination and immigration issues. 

SPRING BREAK DANGERS: 5 AMERICANS WHOSE VACATIONS ENDED IN DEATH

“If you break Mexican law, you can be arrested,” the U.S. warning says. 

That could violate terms of stay in Mexico, which becomes an immigration issue that results in steep fines or detention. 

The private investigator gave this hypothetical scenario, when a drunk American man either hits on a local woman or picks a fight with a local in a bar. 

The problem is nearly every local has some connection to a gang banger or cartel member, and it only takes one quick phone call. 

“Before you leave that club, or after you leave that club, they’re going to grab you up and make you disappear, wiped off the face of the earth,” Armes said. “That’s just the way it works.”

BLOODIED SUSPECT IN MISSING AMERICANS’ CARIBBEAN YACHT HIJACKING TOSSED IN TURCK DURING ARREST, VIDEO SHOWS

For women, it is a little different, he said. They are targets for rape and sex trafficking. 

Both men and women from the U.S. are always targets in robberies. Locals see Americans as wealthy, and “if you’re wearing a nice watch, carrying a nice bag, you’ve been spotted and targeted, and you don’t even know it,” Armes said. 

They could rob the unsuspecting spring breaker and let them live, or they can kill them or sell them into human trafficking, Armes said. 

Both Armes and the U.S. government provided tips and resources to have a safe, fun excursion and come back home. 

“My best advice to people that are traveling, especially now for spring break. There’s safety in numbers,” Armes said. “You go together and leave together. Even if they’re talking to someone, and they’re saying, ‘Don’t worry about me. I’ll catch up with you guys in the hotel later.'”

Armes shook his head no. 

“I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten calls from people that regret that or say, ‘You know what I thought my friend was OK.’”

NURSE HELPING AMERICANS IN ALLEGED BAHAMAS ATTACK WAS ‘SCARED’ BY WHAT SHE SAW: ‘COULD’VE BEEN MY DAUGHTERS

Second, watch the drinks, he said, even from bartenders. They could work for cartels or gangs and put something in the drink or make it so strong that it makes people sick. 

The U.S. government provided these resources in its warning to read about specific details on different areas of Mexico: Mexico Travel Advisory and Country Information Page.

Other tips from the government include enrollment in the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program to receive up-to-date information on safety conditions in Mexico and to help the U.S. Embassy contact you in an emergency, and to make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage in Mexico, or purchase travel insurance that covers you in Mexico. 

The government’s tips also back Armes’ warnings about watching drinks, staying in groups of known friends and being careful in dimly lit bars, walking areas and taxis. 

Read More 

About Post Author

Happy
Happy
0 %
Sad
Sad
0 %
Excited
Excited
0 %
Sleepy
Sleepy
0 %
Angry
Angry
0 %
Surprise
Surprise
0 %