MEXICO IS SAFE
Unlike what you read, hear and see in much of the media, Mexico is safe. Are you feeling doubtful? Then keep reading and let me present my case.
U.N. statistics – not sensationalistic and distorted news reports
Have you ever thought of Mexico as an unsafe travel destination? What about Switzerland? Did you know that Mexico is statistically safer than both Switzerland & Sweden, when you look at for example murder rates. This is according to U.N. data, collected by nationmaster.com. Have you ever felt like people should be warned about travelling to the U.S.? Did you know that the assault rates is as much as five times higher in the U.S., than they are in Mexico? This is even with under-reported crime being adjusted for in the statistics by prominix.com. Are you afraid of getting kidnapped if you vacation in Canada or The United Kingdom? If you’re not, then there is certainly no reason for you to be in Mexico when you look at the statistics. These are good examples of the distorted and sensationalistic media coverage that Mexico is unfairly getting. As howsafeismexico.com puts it: “There are warnings about kidnapping, even though the rate of kidnapping is dramatically higher in Canada than it is in Mexico and no such warning exists for Canada.”. They also compare the difference in how Washington D.C. & Mexico City is being portrayed: “The U.S. State Department in Washington issues warnings about Mexico, yet Washington D.C. is four times more deadly than Mexico City. Washington’s murder rate has been cut almost in half in the last 10 years, but it still averages 24 per 100,000 vs. only 8-9 per 100,000 in Mexico City. How do you suppose the U.S. State department would feel if the Mexican government posted travel warnings for the U.S. capital? Mexico City is a cultural treasure that is larger than New York, London or Paris. In fact, it is about the same size as London and Paris combined.”. If you stay out of the drug trade, you are “statistically safer in Mexico than anywhere else in North America.”. The U.S. murder rates are lower than Mexico’s and still Mexico is yet again statistically safer for visitors and tourists than the U.S. It is more likely to become a victim of a violent crime in both the U.S. and Canada and many other countries that are regarded as safe, than it is in Mexico.
As can be seen above – Philadelphia has twice as many homicides as Mexico City and New Orleans city is almost four times more dangerous than the entire country of Mexico.
Is my point that we should all be scared of going to Mexico and the U.S., Canada, United Kingdom, Switzerland & Sweden? No, of course not! My point is: don’t buy into the isolated and sensationalistic news reports about Mexico being highly unsafe, just as you should not be scared of travelling to any of the other countries mentioned. When you visit Mexico use the same kind of common sense as you would in any other country or even any city in your own country and you should be fine.
The geographical facts
Another issue with media reports on violence in Mexico is that they often ignore such obvious facts as geography. Mexico is the 14th largest country in the world, that is even larger than the 19 U.S. states from Texas to Maine and Washington D.C. together.
Lumping all of Mexico together, even though it is a country the size of western Europe is a problem. Would you be afraid for your own safety going to Los Angeles because of reported gang violence in Las Vegas? Or put off a trip to Germany because of news reports in Latvia? Are you scared of travelling to Louisiana where the death rates are some of the highest in the United States? Millions of people still spend their vacations there and they don’t feel unsafe. Equally the two British tourists that were murdered in Florida 2011, should not cause all of USA to be marked as unsafe, not even the state or the city of Florida in general (examiner.com).
Baja California Sur as safe as can be
When it comes to Southern Baja where we are located most of it is regarded as much safer than many cities in the USA. Baja California Sur is also considered one of the safest states in all of Mexico and have no travel advisory, along with the following states:
- Estado de Mexico
- Mexico City DF
- Quintana Roo
The only four states, out of Mexico’s 31, that the U.S. State Department’s travel advisory recommends avoiding are:
If you want to be extra careful then stay away from the towns on the border to the U.S. and travel in any of the other 27 states. Just as you should probably stay away from Florida & Louisiana where the local drug gangs are part of the reason these two states have some of the highest death rates in the U.S. (examiner.com). You should also avoid the cities New Orleans, Saint Louis, Baltimore & Washington D.C. (howsafeismexico.com).
Here in Baja California Sur most of us cannot relate to the fear that many North Americans seem to have when it comes to travelling and living in Mexico. As said by the Examiner.com Mexico and southern Baja is “offering some of the best jungles, deserts, beaches, coral reefs, pre-European cultures and some of the world’s most satisfying cuisine, not to mention proximity and value, Mexico remains a great travel destination with a very bad PR problem.”. They continue by stating that Cabo San Lucas & San Jose del Cabo may even be two of the safest cities in Mexico.
An important thing to know when it comes to media and their distorted way of making Mexico sound unsafe is that reports, for example from 2010 about a total of 18 Americans that died in three different areas in mainland Mexico where mainly caused by drowning, but that is not disclosed in the reports. Again would you postpone a trip to Miami, due to the city feeling unsafe, if you heard that an American drowned when swimming in the ocean? Mexico city has fewer deaths than for example both Houston & Phoenix. “Warning people to avoid Mexico is largely unfounded and misleading, as well as a bit fear-mongering”, says Examiner.com. Even the violence that is concentrated in only a small amount of Mexico’s total of 31 states, is lessening . Ciudad Juarez for example has improved dramatically (economist.com).
To sum things up: The U.S. Assault rate is 5 times higher than Mexico’s. Mexico’s violent crime rates for assault, kidnapping and rape are substantially lower than Canada’s and yet the U.S. State Department issues no such warnings for Canada. The rate for Rape in the U.S. is more than double the rate in Mexico.
According to Lonely Planet Americans are on average less likely to face violence in Mexico than at home. So keep this in mind next time you read about Mexico and please come enjoy Los Cabos knowing that you are probably even safer here then you are at home.
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