TOURISTS have been issued stark warnings in Mexico as bloody cartel violence explodes across the country.
Visitors are warned to avoid or postpone travel following recent kidnappings and brutal slayings from gang members.
Mexico is witnessing a surge in vacationers as temperatures rise and university students head on spring break.
Cartel violence has reached new levels as the Guadalajara and Sinaloa Cartels continue their vicious bloodbaths.
Texas Department of Public Safety director Steven McCraw said: “Drug cartel violence and other criminal activity represent a significant safety threat to anyone who crosses into Mexico right now.”
The most popular destinations for spring breakers and vacationers are Cancun, Riviera Maya and Mexico City – all of which are rated as a level 2 by the US State Department.
Level two indicates travellers should “exercise increased caution” while in the region.
Travellers to the Yucatan Peninsula, which has Playa del Carmen as a destination, are also advised to exercise caution due to horrific murders in the past.
In recent years, Brit holiday hotspots in the country have been plagued with grisly murders by gang members.
The popular beach resort town of Acapulco is ranked as one of the most dangerous cities in the world.
It comes only second to the most dangerous city on earth: Tijuana, another favourite of vacationers.
Despite the warnings and shocking recent crimes, spring breakers and others are flocking to the white sand beaches for a bit of sun.
Earlier this month two Americans were murdered in the crossfire of two gangs, with two others in the group taken as hostages.
The group of four had travelled through a region labelled as dangerous by the US government when they were ambushed.
In an odd turn of events, cartel gunmen left a letter accusing those who killed the Americans of breaking cartel rules.
It’s thought the Americans were killed by members of the Scorpions Group.
Three women are still missing after travelling from Texas into Mexico two weeks ago to sell clothes.
Sisters Maritza Trinidad Perez Rios and Marina Perez Rios have disappeared with their friend Dora Alicia Cervantes Saenz.
Last year, 54-year-old British father Chris Cleaves was executed in front of his 14-year-old daughter while vacationing in Mexico.
In January, Mexico’s government was forced to deploy the military onto the streets to fight rampaging drug cartel members.
The Mexican government frantically unleashed armoured cars and heavily armed teams as it battles to control the violent scenes.
The UK government issued a statement regarding visits to tourist areas: “There is currently an increased police presence in the Cancun area, including in the hotel zone.
“While tourists have not been the target, anyone in the vicinity of an incident could be affected. British travellers have been physically and sexually assaulted.”
Mobsters have previously kept their gun battles well away from the hotels on Mexico’s sun-soaked beaches, fearing it would be “bad for business”.
But bloodthirsty kidnap and torture gangs of the ultra-violent Jalisco New Generation Cartel are said to have ripped up the code as they seized new turf.
Tourism chiefs fear the ongoing bloodshed means the Quintana Roo region will lose its reputation as a safe haven for both package holiday families and spring break partygoers.