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BU Urges Caution South of the Border

State Department travel advisory warns spring breakers to be careful


Dean of Students Kenneth Elmore is asking BU students to be particularly careful while traveling during spring break following a State Department warning about violence near the U.S.-Mexican border.

“Please take note of any travel advisories that may be in effect,” Elmore said in an entry on his blog. “Additionally, do not forget the usual tips for smart travel, especially abroad: carry a working mobile phone, travel in groups of two or more, carry only as much cash as necessary, and remain aware of the location of the nearest embassy, consulate, or consular agency.”

Several college and universities have issued similar cautions since the State Department issued a travel alert for Mexico late last month that cited increased military and police confrontations with drug cartels along the border. In addition, robberies, petty thefts, and carjackings have risen in Tijuana and Baja California in the past year.

More than 100,000 spring break vacationers and millions of U.S. citizens visit Mexico each year, and the advisory urged “common-sense precautions” to ensure a safe visit. These include traveling on main roads during daylight hours, remaining within well-known tourist areas of the cities, and not carrying expensive items or wearing valuable jewelry.

The State Department also has a special Web site for spring break travelers in Mexico that provides safety tips and information about recreation, nightlife, and transportation, as well as a list of embassy and consulate contacts to be used in case of emergency.

For information about travel, a list of U.S. embassies abroad, and information about preparing for travel abroad, visit the State Department’s Students Abroad Web site.

Jessica Ullian can be reached at jullian@bu.edu.


2 Comments on BU Urges Caution South of the Border

  • Damian on 03.04.2009 at 1:18 pm

    Touristic cities in Mexico does not have violence problems.

    Touristic cities in Mexico do not have violence problems related to the drug cartels. Tourists traveling to Los Cabos, Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Puerto Penasco, Ixtapa, Mazatlan or Acapulco, will be perfectly safe as long as they follow common sense precautions.

    There are two drug wars in Mexico. One among the Sinaloa Cartel and the Golfo Cartel, and other of these two against the local army and police. These wars have made the Mexican border area a violent place, but is not a problem in all the country. As a matter of fact, only Ciudad Juarez, Villa Ahumada, Tijuana and Nuevo Laredo have serious problems with the cartels. All of these cities are in the border with the United States and are exchange points for the cartels. Also, Mexico City, Monterrey and Guadalajara may be dangerous, as many other big city in the world. Confrontations of drug cartels and local army take please in the border cities, not in the cities where tourists usually go.

  • Anonymous on 03.04.2009 at 3:39 pm

    Mexico travel

    Where many tourists go on spring breaks are the border towns. Local news stations in Cali are issuing strong warnings about Tijuana and Rosarito, most often frequented spots by tourists. All within 50 miles of the Cali border. These are among the most dangerous places to be, including Ensenada (further south in Baja), also tourist spot. Many stories abound of tourists who’ve had something happen down there and are at the mercy of the Mexican government. You’re not guaranteed protection or your rights; and your cell phone likely won’t work there either. Stay away for now!

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