Officials from the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) has warned Americans against travel in Mexico after three Texans have gone missing.
“We have a duty to inform the public about safety, travel risks, and threats. Based on the volatile nature of cartel activity and the violence we are seeing there; we are urging individuals to avoid travel to Mexico at this time,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw.
Lt. Chris Olivarez reiterated the warning, and advised Spring Breakers in particular to avoid Mexico.
“It is too dangerous with the increase in violence and kidnappings that are taking place in Mexico. So very important and I can’t stress enough to those who are thinking about traveling to Mexico, especially for Spring breakers,” he told Fox News.
The three kidnapped women are Maritza Trinidad Perez Rios, 47, Marina Perez Rios, 48, and Dora Alicia Cervantes Saenz, 53, who went missing during a Feb. 24 trip to a flea market in the city of Montemorelos in Nuevo Leon State – located around three hours from the border by car, Nuevo Leon Attorney General Office said. They were traveling in a green mid-1990s Chevy Silverado.
One of the missing women’s husbands spoke with her via phone during the trip, but grew concerned after not being able to reach her afterward.
“Since he couldn’t make contact over that weekend, he came in that Monday and reported it to us,” said Penitas Police Chief Roel Bermea, who added that their families have been in contact with Mexican authorities who are investigating the case.
On Friday the FBI said it was aware of the missing persons case – two sisters and a friend, who have gone missing.
The kidnapping is the second this month to make headlines, after four Americans were kidnapped and two of them killed weeks ago during a trip to the border town of Matamoros, near Brownsville, Texas.
The four were traveling on March 3 so that one of the survivors, Latavia “Tay” McGee, could have cosmetic surgery. At approximately Noon they were fired upon in downtown Matamoros and then loaded into a pickup truck. Another friend who remained in Brownsville called the police after not being able to reach the group.
Six people were arrested in connection to the incident, according to Tamaulipas Attorney General Irving Barrios Mojica, who confirmed the arrests of five suspects. The sixth was subsequently arrested and linked to the kidnappings and murders.
In response, the Scorpions faction of the Gulf cartel handed over the five members who were arrested, along with an apology letter to the locals, a Mexican national who died in the crossfire, and the four American women and their families.
“We have decided to turn over those who were directly involved and responsible in the events, who at all times acted under their own decision-making and lack of discipline,” reads the letter.
Read More: “It’s Too Dangerous”: Texas Officials Issue Travel Warning