Tags: US | Drug | War | Spring | Break

Mexico Violence Factors in Spring Break Plans

Monday, 15 Mar 2010 07:16 PM


  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

Marquette University senior Kelly Magennis wasn't even up prepping for the start of the biggest spring break week on Texas' South Padre Island when the first text message arrived from her mom forbidding her from crossing into Mexico.

"I said, 'don't worry, I didn't even bring my passport,'" Magennis said, surrounded by several thousand like-minded spring breakers on the beach Monday.

Whether it was grisly murders of three people with ties to the U.S. consulate in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, over the weekend or months of reports about the bloody drug war south of the border, students at the popular spot just off the southern tip of Texas said they were avoiding the short drive to Mexico. For many, parents' admonitions short circuited spring break plans before they began.

"Parents should not allow their children to visit these Mexican (border) cities because their safety cannot be guaranteed," Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw said in a warning issued March 4.

The alert applied specifically to border towns and did not include other popular Mexican destinations such as Cancun and Puerto Vallarta, but University of North Texas student Katie-Ross Ward said the strong warning closed the deal for her parents.

"My parents wouldn't let me go (to Mexico) because I have blonde hair and blue eyes," said Ward, 18. "They said I'd get kidnapped."

The U.S. State Department issued its own warning Sunday, a day after an American consulate employee, her husband and the husband of a Mexican employee were gunned down in separate incidents in Juarez. Suspected drug gangsters chased down and opened fire on two SUVs carrying the families from a children's party, killing the adults and injuring two children.

"Drug cartels and associated criminal elements have retaliated violently against individuals who speak out against them or whom they otherwise view as a threat to their organizations," the government warning said. Families of U.S. government employees in several northern Mexico cities were authorized to leave the country until April 12.

Dan Quandt, executive director of the South Padre Island Convention and Visitors Bureau, said Texas week — the biggest week of the collegiate vacation season on the island — was packed and he couldn't tell if the violence in Mexico was impacting the island's business one way or another.

Once advertised heavily as the home of the "Two Nation Vacation," South Padre Island has worked in recent years to offer everything students want on the island so they don't feel the need to head to Mexico.

Still, Quandt said it's sad that students now are less likely to get even that brief taste of another culture. While some were just seeking a lower drinking age, some from other parts of the country sought out a new experience. "A lot of it is just to say you did it (went to Mexico)," he said.

But this year, students appear to have received the message about the risks of cross-border travel, Quandt said. "It's just not happening."

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Google Wants to Fly Drones Over New Mexico

Tuesday, 16 Sep 2014 14:28 PM

Google is planning to begin testing drones in a virtually uninhabited area of New Mexico in pursuit of providing interne . . .

Bezos and Musk Go Head-to-Head in Skies and in Court

Tuesday, 16 Sep 2014 12:43 PM

From cyberspace to outer space, the battle for supremacy between Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and PayPal founder Elon Musk  . . .

Boeing Likely To Be NASA's Choice for Space Taxi

Tuesday, 16 Sep 2014 10:26 AM

Boeing appears to have won a large contract to build spacecraft that would take astronauts to and from orbit for NASA.  . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved