How Safe Are You Traveling In Mexico?

I found this article today, I thought I would share.  You are safer traveling in Mexico, then you are at home in the USA.  So the next time someone tells you it is unsafe to travel to Mexico, show them this article.

mexico

How Safe Are You Traveling In Mexico?

by on Dec 6th, 2014 ·

How does the homicide rate of Mexico compare to that of a major City in the United States? You might be surprised by the facts. For the question of how safe a tourist is in Mexico, you can probably find facts to back up whatever notion you already have depending on your source. Below are some facts and information to help understand the reality. How does this compare to your perception of Mexico?

Here are the facts about Mexico travel and living:

• Mexico returned to the #1 position as an international destination for Americans, bumping Canada to 2nd place.

• Mexico returned to the top 10 international destinations world-wide in 2013.

• Mexico is the #1 location for North Americans living abroad, with 1 million Americans and more than 400,000 Canadians calling Mexico home, part or full-time. Most of these folks live in Baja California or Baja California Sur.

• More than 20 million Americans visited Mexico in 2013. more than 150,000 US citizens cross the border into Mexico daily.

• Cabo San Lucas became the #1 International Travel Destination on the Pacific coast of Mexico. It is also the #1 domestic travel destination in Mexico.

• 81 Americans were reported murdered in Mexico in 2013, up from 71 in 2012. That is also DOWN from the 114 in 2011. That is a homicide rate 1/8th that of the US average and a little more than 1/4 of the Canadian average. You are significantly less likely to be murdered on vacation in Mexico than at home.

• The vast majority of the murders in Mexico in the last 7 years are directly related to the drug trade, and are not against tourists.

• Baja California Sur is one of the safest states in Mexico. Huge strides have also been made in Baja California since 2007 and tourist incidents remain rare.

What is being done about the problem

Over the last couple of years headlines in Mexican and international press have highlighted great progress in Mexico’s war against the cartels. Arrest headline now overshadow the headlines of body counts and horrific deaths.

Every time I update this article I receive a laundry list of particular events in Baja complied by an anti-Mexico travel group. Let me be perfectly clear, bad things do happen to tourists in Mexico. But more expat Americans and Canadians call Mexico home than any other location, nearly a million and a half of them. More Americans will visit Mexico this month than visit England in a year. Statistically speaking you are far more likely to be struck by lightening near your home than be the victim of a violent crime in Mexico. To improve your odds we have some tips below to protect your vacation.

Despite the blathering of some radio talk personalities and has been politicians clamoring for attention, Mexico is not in Civil War, nor on the verge of lawlessness.

Mexico has suffered a drop in tourism since the implementation of WHITI, the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiate, implemented by former president Bush, requiring passports of citizens to re-enter the US .Mexico’s walk-across traffic for shopping in border towns dropped dramatically, but the country remains the #2 travel destination for Americans after Canada.

More US travelers visited Mexico in 2012 than almost all the countries of Europe combined. That is about 10 times that which visited Great Britain in 2012, the #1 European destination. Mexico fell from the world-wide tourist destination top 10 in 2012, not because Mexico travel decreased, but because of the increased popularity of Europe, during the Euro downturn. Tourism in Mexico rose by 5.6% in 2012.

ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) and TSA(Transportation Safety Administration) took some responsibility for the decline of international travel as well. More than 70% of travelers surveyed who expressed dissatisfaction with their travel plans blamed treatment and delays caused by these US agencies for their bad trip experiences.

Only about 30% of Americans hold passports. The U.S. is a big country with a wide variety of destinations. But it is very likely that this low percentage of international travelers from the States is why the population has a low understanding of international politics and other cultures. The U.S. has the lowest percentage of international passport holders of any industrialized country. Get out and meet the world folks! This author has visited more than 70 countries in the last 30 years.

With the number of people traveling to Mexico, the occasional story of a ghastly tourist crime need to be taken in perspective.You are more than 10 times more likely to be struck by lightening and 100 times more likely to win the California lottery than you are to be affected by a violent crime in Mexico.Petty theft is the #1 crime against tourists in Mexico according the PGR (equivalent to the FBI in Mexico)

Where NOT to Visit in Mexico
Many Americans are most familiar with Mexico in terms of day trips over the border to cities like Tijuana, Mexicali, Nogales and C. D. Juarez. If dozens of trips to these border cities makes you think you know Mexico, you’re wrong.

For reference, dangerous US Cities like Detroit had a homicide rate of 47 per 100K. The US as a whole has fallen to a low 4.7 per 100K. Mexico has risen to 23.7 per 100K. CD Juarez had a 148 per 100K rate and Acapulco had a 114 per 100K.

Once again, Mexicali was the most dangerous per capita city on the peninsula and Tijuana tied with Philadelphia.

But all this in perspective, as stated above, a tourist in Mexico faces a 0.5 per 100K risk. Statistics show a North American is safer on vacation in Mexico than you are at home.

For Canadians you are just slightly safer, your homicide rate is 1.6 per 100,000. But we’re a lot warmer!

Something to think about.

Thanks for reading,

Stewart Rogers USA-South Carolina

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