(NewsNation) — The Texas Department of Public Safety issued a warning urging U.S. citizens to avoid travel to Mexico for spring break because of 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. 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.”
Last week the State Department renewed its warning for Americans considering travel to Mexico, saying Americans might not be able to seek help from the U.S. if something were to go wrong.
“Violent crime — such as homicide, kidnapping, carjacking, and robbery — is widespread and common in Mexico. The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in many areas of Mexico, as travel by U.S. government employees to certain areas is prohibited or restricted. In many states, local emergency services are limited outside the state capital or major cities,” the advisory reads.
But Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador pushed back on the warnings Monday, and argued they were part of an “anti-Mexico” movement by some American politicians.
“Mexico is safer than the United States. There’s no problem with traveling safely around Mexico,” Lopez Obrador told reporters, according to Reuters.
The increased concern in the U.S. comes after the kidnapping of four Americans in Matamoros, Mexico, earlier in the month drew national attention.
Two sisters and their friends also went missing in Mexico after crossing the border last month, U.S. authorities said Friday.