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State Department says that if you’re thinking about going to Mexico for Spring Break, you should reconsider

If you feel you just have to go, the agency asks that you sign up for its Smart Traveler program

Photo (c) James Leynse - Getty Images
Because of the weather, nearness, and value, Mexico has become a Spring Break favorite over the last few years, but it’s also become a hotbed of crime and kidnapping.

So much so that the U.S. Department of State has decided that the situation is too dicey for Americans right now, slapping “Do Not Travel” restrictions on six Mexican states, and “Reconsider” or “Exercise Extreme Precaution” warnings on 25 more.

The only two states that got the green light are Campeche and Yucatan, both in the Yucatan Peninsula and home to tourist areas in Chichen Itza, Merida, Uxmal, and Valladolid.

A full list of restrictions is available here.

“Transnational criminal organizations compete in the border area to establish narco-trafficking and human smuggling routes. Violent crime and gang activity are common. Travelers should remain on main highways and avoid remote locations,” the Department wrote.

“Of particular concern is the high number of homicides in the non-tourist areas of Tijuana. Most homicides appeared to be targeted. However, criminal organization assassinations and territorial disputes can result in bystanders being injured or killed. U.S. citizens and LPRs have been victims of kidnapping.”

If you decide to go, well…

The Department doesn’t throw travel restrictions around lightly, but it can’t stand in the way of anyone who’s compelled to cross the border into Mexico.

It simply suggests that if someone does, they adhere to the same restrictions that government employees have in Mexico: don’t travel between cities after dark, don’t hail taxis on the street, avoid traveling alone, especially in remote areas.

The agency also suggests that travelers download its app and sign up for the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, a free service that allows U.S. citizens traveling or living abroad to receive the latest security updates from the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate and enables the U.S. embassy or consulate to contact the traveler in an emergency. ​

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