Michael Alcázar: ‘Mexican cartels are out of control’ and spring breakers should stay away

Puerto Vallarta (PVDN) – Mexico’s drug cartels are out of control and students shouldn’t travel to the country for spring break, warns Michael Alcázar.

At a time when thousands of American university students, the so-called spring breakers, travel to Mexico, mainly to the beaches, Michael Alcázar, a former New York Police Department detective, warned, in statements to The New York Post, that “right now, It seems like the most dangerous time [in history] to travel to Mexico.”

“The Mexican government has no control over what is happening with the cartels. The cartels seem to be running wild,” he added. The statements come after the kidnapping of four Americans in Matamoroso, Tamaulipas, two of whom were killed at the hands of the Gulf Cartel. Another American was reported missing in Colima. And three more American women went missing in Mexico while attending a market.

Alcazar, who worked for the NYPD for more than three decades, said, “It’s not worth getting hurt, killed, or kidnapped for a couple [of] weeks of vacation from college.”

His warning is added to the one that Texas authorities issued in recent days to spring breakers to avoid traveling to Mexico. Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw said drug cartel violence “represents a significant security threat” to anyone entering Mexico.

Although President Andrés Manuel López Obrador affirms that Mexico is “more secure” than the United States, Alcázar affirmed that “of course, Obrador is going to say that Mexico is safe. He does not want to discourage travel. He also doesn’t want it to look like he has lost control of his country.” However, he warned that the reality is different and the cartels are “out of control.”

He considered that cartel members want innocent Americans to fear the organizations. “The cartels are very violent and more open. They are very violent and they want their violence to be feared.”

For those Americans who have already booked trips to Mexico, Alcázar asked them to reconsider and find a way to get a refund. If that’s not possible, he gave some advice to Americans in Mexico to stay safe. “ They must be very cautious. They should travel in a group, either with family or friends.”

Another recommendation is that they do not show the cash they carry when leaving their hotels. “The cartels look for people who have money. They are hunting, that is what they do, ”he explained. “Americans are a commodity for the cartels to make money.”

The US State Department has six states on its list of places Americans should not travel to because of the risk of crime and kidnapping: Colima, Guerrero, Michoacán, Sinaloa, Tamaulipas and Zacatecas. But according to Alcázar, the travel warnings have come late. “It definitely looks like [the warnings] were more reactive than proactive.”

Should you be worried about violence in Mexico?

The truth is, more than 30 million Americans travel to Mexico each year, and last year, 60 Americans in Mexico on vacation were killed. That’s 2.1 of 100,000 Americans who visit Mexico were killed. The US average is 4.8 per 100,000 citizens, meaning the chances of an American being killed are cut in half by vacationing in Mexico. These are statistics not given with travel warnings.

It is important to keep in mind that crime rates and safety conditions can vary greatly depending on the location within Mexico. Most Americans who go missing or are killed in Mexico are along the border, which are not typical vacation destinations.

Mexico is a large and diverse country with many safe and popular tourist destinations, such as places that attract spring breakers. However, some areas have been affected by drug-related violence and other crimes, which can pose a risk to travelers. It is important to do your research and exercise caution when traveling to any unfamiliar destination.

To ensure your safety, you may want to consider taking the following precautions:

  1. Research the destination thoroughly before you go, including crime rates and potential safety concerns.
  2. Stay aware of your surroundings and avoid any areas that are known to be unsafe.
  3. Use trusted transportation services and avoid traveling alone, especially at night.
  4. Keep a low profile and avoid showing off expensive items or carrying large amounts of cash.
  5. Follow local laws and customs, and be respectful of the local culture.
  6. Stay in touch with family and friends and let them know your itinerary and when to expect you back.

Overall, while there is no guarantee of complete safety while traveling, taking these precautions can help reduce the risk of harm and ensure a more enjoyable and stress-free vacation.

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