Spring breakers have gathered near the southern border, seemingly unaware of safety concerns for both travel and crime happening nearby in Mexico.
The U.S. Mission to Mexico posted a fresh warning last week, noting that “Each year, thousands of U.S. citizens visit Mexico during spring break.” Among the various concerns ongoing in the country, the mission listed violent crime, drugs, unregulated alcohol and sexual assault.
The mission also pointed to a travel advisory from October 2022 in which the U.S. State Department warned against travel to the states of Colima, Guerrero, Michoacán, Sinaloa, Tamaulipas and Zacatecas, while suggesting that Americans reconsider travel to another half-dozen states.
But spring breakers continue to gather near the border, some of them seemed aware of the dangers ongoing in Mexico while others appeared to not know or even care.
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Fox News Digital spoke with some of the vacationing college students in South Padre Island, Texas, which ranks as the fourth-most popular spring break destination after Cancun, Miami Beach and Jamaica, according to U.S. News.
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Nicole from McAllen, Texas, told Fox News Digital that she doesn’t currently plan to visit Mexico but that she does go over the border from time to time to get cheaper products, saying it’s “just business.”
“They’re doing what they got to do – got to sell, promote – they got cheaper stuff on that side,” she said.
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Part of the “cheaper stuff” includes many counterfeit drugs found throughout pharmacies near the border. UCLA conducted a study in northern Mexican tourist towns, examining drugs bought at pharmacies and finding counterfeit pills that contained fentanyl, heroin or methamphetamines.
The researchers were able to obtain the pills without prescriptions and found that 68% of the 40 pharmacies examined in the study sold at least one controlled substance.
Other spring breakers, also from McAllen, told Fox News Digital that they were unsure if going into Mexico would be safe.
“I’ve never been,” one of the girls said, saying she wouldn’t plan to go but that she “didn’t know” if it was safe.
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The Texas Department of Public Safety also cautioned against travel, citing the recent kidnapping of four Americans, two of whom died, after they crossed the border allegedly seeking out a medical procedure. The cartel blamed for the incident turned over five individuals who claimed were responsible for the incident and acted without authority.
“We have a duty to inform the public about safety, travel risks and threats,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw in a statement. “Based on the volatile nature of cartel activity and the violence we are seeing there; we are urging individuals to avoid travel to Mexico at this time.”
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But the occasion has continued to draw huge crowds to the area, with college kids eager to indulge in the annual cultural tradition and getaway. Officials reported that around 2.1 million people visited the island last year during the month of March, according to Valley Central.
South Padre Island has DJs performing throughout the month, with musical artists Lil Wayne and Steve Aoki, among others, performing over the past week.
The U.S. Mission to Mexico advises that anyone who does plan to travel to Mexico enroll in the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program for up-to-date safety information.
Additionally, the mission suggests staying together in groups, regularly monitoring credit and debit card spending for unauthorized transactions, keeping friends and family updated on all travel plans and protecting personal possessions while using public transit.