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Mexico’s crime and violence MTV’s Spring Break doesn’t show you

Lauren Golosky
Contributor

It’s that time of year again.

It’s when Canadians escape down south, ditching the parkas for some fun in the sun. One popular destination for families, students, and MTV alike is Mexico.

As prices drop, it seems to be the perfect winter getaway. However, the government of Canada’s Foreign Affairs department is urging Canadians not to travel south to Mexico.

Issued Jan. 31, 2011, the government’s travel report for Mexico states, “Canadians travelling to Mexico should exercise a high degree of caution due to a deteriorating security situation in many parts of the country.”

This report follows the latest reports of violent crimes reported to have happened in Mexico, particularly in northern areas of the country. According to the Canadian government, there are more episodes of crime violence near the American-Mexican border, where non-essential travel is strongly advised against.

But for University of Regina student Jennifer Marlowe, who is going to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, with her family during Reading Week, the travel report is a nice gesture on the government’s part, but does not influence her decision whether or not to travel south this month.

“I feel that it’s good that they issued a warning, but it shouldn’t scare people too much,” said Marlowe. “If anything, it should encourage travelers to do some research on the places they stay and potential dangerous areas or activities.”

The question remains, will university students do the research, or will they just jump on the first plane to budget-friendly Mexico?

For the university demographic, Mexico is the supreme destination. Cities like Cancun offer fun and, quite often, an out-of-control nightlife. Add in sun and sand adventures, and Cancun could seem like a paradise. What most don’t think of is the crime and violence, potential threats to all travelers.

In recent news, Canadian travelers have gone missing in Mexico. Pirates are adding more than natural dangers to the water, as they are now known for attacking swimmers and people on watercrafts.

Dangerous situations are not easy for Canadian travelers to deal with. Canadians are accustomed to a certain reliability of the law which is lacking in Mexico. Once out of Canadian limits, there is little the Canadian government can do.

“Travellers are responsible for their own personal safety,” Foreign Affairs stated in the travel report.

But for Marlowe, and presumably the other university students jetting off on a destination vacation this upcoming break, news and travel reports won’t stop her from enjoying her vacation.

“I’ll take the same precautions I usually do, staying in touristy, busy areas, not wandering around on my own, and being part of a large group outside of the resort,” said Marlowe.

Although there for a good time, Marlowe will be cautious of alcohol abuse, as she knows how it affects people’s judgment, allowing them to make poor – and often dangerous –  decisions.

That can only be hoped for from the rest of the university demographic, stereotypically known for being rowdy party animals. MTV doesn’t help that generalization all that much, but at least they look like they’re having a good time.

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