SEATTLE - The State Department released a new warning against spring break travel to Mexico over the weekend, updating the government's most recent warning against travel to Mexico dated December 8.
"U.S. citizens have been the victims of violent crimes, including homicide, kidnapping, carjacking and robbery in various Mexican States," the government warned.
The warning replaces a previous warning issued on April 15, 2016.
Of the 31 Mexican states, the State Department warns of dangers in 14 of those states, or just under half.
While Mexico has been very much in the news since the early days of the U.S. Presidential campaign, the focus and debate has been over on immigration, sending undocumented Mexicans home, and U.S. factories relocating there.
But the State Department says within Mexico "gun battles between rival criminal organizations or with Mexican authorities have still taken place on streets and in public places during broad daylight." However, it hastens to add that "the Mexican government dedicates substantial resources to protect visitors to major tourist destinations."
"We keep getting the same safety and security tips recycled again and again; there's been no change," said Seattle travel expert Steve Danishek of TMA travel. "That's the bad news."
For Americans, travel to Mexico remains popular. Alaska Airlines, which considers Mexico one of its largest markets just announced it is adding more flights from San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Jose following its merger with Virgin America.
Next week, the University of Washington takes a break, and a lot of students say they or their friends are heading to Mexico.
Kristen Clark went last year.
"Just stay together, and at night just stay in the hotel," Clark said was her advice.
Tyler Stenson is heading down at the end of the school year.
"I feel safe," he said. "I don't have a problem going there."
Danishek has helped book many spring break packages to Mexico for college students.
"Mexico is an excellent value," he said. "And if you stay in the resort hotels, you're not going to have a problem. It's when you start to stray away from the resort hotels that you can run into situations."
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