College students, thinking of hitting the beach in Mexico for spring break? Law enforcement officials in Texas say -- think again!
CBS News Correspondent Don Teague joined "The Early Show" from Dallas to highlight the growing concern for college students and tourist alike who may consider visiting Mexico, a beautiful country plagued by drug violence.
For the second year in a row, authorities here in Texas have warned college students to stay away from Mexico for spring break, saying they can't protect tourists who are caught in the crossfire of Mexico's drug war.
For thousands of college students, spring break is an annual week-long party, featuring beaches, bikinis, and beer. And for many, that means Mexico. But the ongoing drug war is making the country more dangerous today than ever. Prompting Texas officials to warn college students to stay out of Mexico for spring break.
"I think it's naive to think that just because you're an American tourist, you're not going to be the victim of violence in Mexico," says Tom Vinger of the Texas Department of Safety.
Since drug violence exploded in 2006, there have been some 30,000 murders. And Americans are among those caught in the crossfire. So far this year, four U.S. Citizens have been murdered in Mexico. In 2010, the death toll reached 65. The case that drew national headlines, the murder of David Hartley, who was shot to death while jet skiing with his wife on a lake that straddles the border. His death shed light on the dangers to Americans in Mexico.
"We just keep telling them they need to stay on the U.S. Side of the border," adds Sheriff Sigi Gonzalez of Zapata County, Texas.
But the danger is no longer confined to Mexico's border region. Reports of cartel violence spreading to tourist hot spots. Just last month, eight people were killed in a shooting spree in Acapulco. Turning the storied getaway into Mexico's most violent resort city. The violence is prompting students to take the warnings from state officials, and the danger, seriously.
"I think it's almost unnecessary. There's other places you can go. That's what a lot of people are doing," says one college student.
Well, Mexico's northern border cities have been the most dangerous in recent years. But this warning for Texas college students applies to all of Mexico.