Texas on Tuesday warned residents for the third consecutive year not to travel to Mexico during the upcoming university spring break season, saying drug cartel violence and other criminal activity are a safety threat even in resort areas.

The advisory comes despite pleas from top Mexican officials to target the travel warnings to specific areas where the threat of violence is greatest.

Mexican officials said that popular tourist areas such as Cancun and Cabo San Lucas are safe for American travelers.

Drug violence has claimed an estimated 40,000 lives in Mexico since 2006.

Mary Forgione for the Los Angeles Times writes:

The Texas agency warned about bars and nightclubs in resort sites such as Cancun, Acapulco, Mazatlan, Cabo San Lucas and Tijuana as “havens for drug dealers and petty criminals.” It also referred to 12,903 narcotics-related homicides in the first nine months of 2011 and said the number of U.S. citizens reported as murdered in Mexico jumped from 35 in 2007 to 120 in 2011. Reuters reports this is the third year in a row that Texas has issued such a warning.

Source: Reuters via Chicago Tribune.

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