The University of Texas System is recalling students, faculty and staff participating from university-sponsored programs in seven northern Mexican states.
Spokesman Anthony De Bruyn said that “effective immediately” persons affiliated with the system’s nine academic and six health institutions studying or working in the states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo Leon, Sonora, Tamaulipas, Baja California, and Durango are asked to consider their safety and leave the areas.
The sites were chosen based on current State Department travel advisories, which include the seven states as potential battlegrounds between rival drug cartels and Mexican law enforcement.
“The University of Texas System and its institutions value their close association with Mexico,” UT System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa said in a news release. “That said, the safety of University of Texas System students, faculty and staff is of the utmost importance and we feel these actions with regard to study abroad programs and other university-sponsored international activities are prudent.”
The UT System will also review its study abroad programs in other countries listed on the State Departments travel warning or advisory lists, and soon make additional recommendations based on those findings.
The withdrawal from Mexico comes just weeks after government officials advised that dependents of U.S. personnel from U.S. consulate offices leave the same areas, as they could fall victim to random or targeted acts of violence.