AUSTIN - The Texas Department of Public Safety is again urging Spring Breakers to avoid traveling to Mexico as a result of continued violence throughout the country.

“The Mexican government has made great strides battling the cartels, and we commend their continued commitment to making Mexico a safer place to live and visit,” said DPS Director Steven C. McCraw. “However, drug cartel violence and other criminal activity represent a significant safety threat, even in some resort areas.”

A published report from the U.S. Department of State indicated there have been nearly 13,000 narcotics related homicides in 2011, and the number of U.S. citizens murdered in Mexico has increased from 35 in 2007 to 120 in 2011.

Some bars and nightclubs, especially in resort cities such as Cancun, Acapulco, Mazatlan, Cabo San Lucas, and Tijuana can be havens for drug dealers and petty criminals.

DPS acknowledges that many travel to Mexico without incident, but the risks cannot be ignored. Travelers are encouraged to carefully research any planned trips.