Spring breakers have been urged to stay away from Mexico after three more Americans vanished after entering the country. Sisters Maritza Trinidad 47, and Marina Perez Rios, 48 travelled to Mexico in February with friend Dora Alicia Cervantes Saenz, 53, but have not been heard from for over two weeks. Texas authorities say drug cartels have become increasingly dangerous and warn the risk of attacks is high.
Texas Department of Public Safety Steven McCraw said: “Drug cartel violence and other criminal activity represent a significant safety threat to anyone who crosses into Mexico right now.”
DPS Lieutenant Christ Olivarez said border patrol is gearing up to handle the influx of students escaping to the Mexican sunshine during spring break.
The US State Department has issued a level four warning – the highest available – to avoid travelling into four Mexican states.
Olivarez told Fox News the DPS has seen an increase in kidnappings across the border in recent months.
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Two Americans were rescued this week after being kidnapped in Matamoral with two friends who died before authorities found them.
Olivarez said: “Right now it is too dangerous with the increase in violence and kidnappings that are taking place in Mexico.
“I can’t stress enough to those that are thinking about travelling to Mexico, especially for spring breakers … to avoid those areas as much as possible.”
The Perez Rios sisters and Cervantes Saenz travelled from their home in Peñitas, Texas to the city of Montemorelos to attend a flea market in February.
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One of the women’s husbands said he lost contact after speaking to her on the phone as the group travelled to Mexico.
Peñitas police chief Roel Bermea told Sky News: “Since he couldn’t make contact over that weekend, he came in that Monday and reported it to us.”
The three were reported missing shortly before South Carolinians Latavia “Tay” McGee, Eric James Williams, Shaeed Woodard and Zindell Brown were abducted in what is believed to have been a case of mistaken identity.
The group had been travelling to Matamoros as McGee had planned to undergo a tummy tuck.
The four were ambushed on the way to the doctor and kidnapped – with authorities suggesting they had been mistaken for Haitian smugglers.
McGee and Williams were rescued from a rural hut four days later and immediately brought back to Texas.
Woodard and Brown were confirmed dead. The Scorpion group of the region’s drug cartel later turned in five people they claimed to have been the kidnappers.
They issued an apologetic note stating that the group had “acted under their own decision-making and lack of discipline.”
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