Wednesday, March 11, 2009

SWAT Cancels Spring Break in San Felipe for 2009

SWAT, Big travel firm cuts trips to Baja, citing violence

The crime crisis in Mexico has forced a major West Coast travel firm to cancel its upcoming spring break trips to Baja California.

Summer Winter Action Tours (SWAT) of Costa Mesa says the thousands of students who planned to head south will instead travel to Palm Springs. Travel alerts have been issued for over a year regarding rising drug cartel-related crime in northern Mexico.

The Los Angeles branch of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms also recently urged students to avoid northern Baja California during spring break.

SWAT has been sending students to Mexico for the last 12 years and, in a website post, insists that "San Felipe is one of the safest destinations in all of Baja California and Mexico."

"However, because so many of our existing customers and their families are concerned by the recent Mexico travel alerts issued by various agencies, SWAT has made the decision to provide our customers with peace of mind for their SWAT Spring Break 2009 experience," the statement continued.

Colleges sending students on spring break include: Cal State Fullerton, Saddleback College, Irvine Valley College, Cal State Long Beach, Orange Coast College, Cal Lutheran and Arizona State University. In a March 2 warning, the ATF issued a warning specifically cautioning against student trips to Tijuana and Rosarito Beach. Some students on SWAT tours would have had to pass through Tijuana on the drive to San Felipe.