The Jurez-Lincoln bridge over the Rio Grande in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, is… (Don Bartletti / Los Angeles…)
The state of Texas is warning Americans to avoid travel to the Mexican border town of Nuevo Laredo this holiday weekend because of an anticipated surge in drug cartel violence aimed at Americans.
In a news release Saturday, the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Webb County Sheriff's Office said their sources indicated that the Zetas drug cartel was "planning to target U.S. citizens who travel to Nuevo Laredo this weekend."
Steven C. McCraw, the department's director, also said in the statement:
"According to the information we have received, the Zetas are planning a possible surge in criminal activity, such as robberies, extortions, car-jackings and vehicle theft, specifically against U.S. citizens."
Reuters reported that Mexico's tourism chief earlier had complained that similar warnings were "misinformed" and lacked credibility.
Violence from Mexico's drug cartels has prompted travel warnings from the U.S. State Department. Mexico reported more than 12,000 drug-war deaths last year amid violence that has made headlines and affected tourism.