>> Saturday, March 21, 2009
From a story by Maria Finn on ABC News:
Just in time for spring break, violence along the U.S.-Mexico border has brought a rash of bad press to the popular tourist destination.
Riviera Maya on the Yucatan Peninsula, such as Playa del Carmen [just south of Cancun], is Mexico's most popular travel destinations.
But for those still planning a trip to Mexico, the U.S. Consulate in Merida, Mexico, recently released a Web video on how to stay safe, have fun and avoid bringing trouble upon oneself.
"If you're not going to do it at home, think twice about doing it in Mexico," one consulate employee says in the video. "Always stick with a friend. Watch what people put into your drinks."
"It's not a theme park, it's a sovereign country with laws," another reminds travelers.
Likewise, State Department spokesman Robert Wood weighed in from the podium recently, when he declared his love for Mexico and for spring break.
"OK, I'm guilty," Wood conceded. "I have gone down at least once in my life for spring break."
"But look," Wood added. "Mexico is a wonderful place to go and vacation. People just need to, you know, take sensible precautions to protect themselves. I don't have anything more to say on it than that. I mean, it's just using common sense and taking necessary precautions."
President Obama announced this week that he will personally travel to Mexico in April to meet with President Felipe Calderon to discuss curbing the violence, among other issues.