Sunday, August 28, 2011

Mexico Safer than Headlines Indicate

Many consider Mexico to be less safe than the States. Well, did you know that even the very safe Washington, D.C. has a higher homicide rate than Mexico City? The flip side to all of the news about crime in Mexico is that more than 95 percent of Mexico's municipalities (the equivalent of an American county) are at least as safe as the average American traveler's hometown.

Based on FBI crime statistics for 2010 and Mexican government data released early this year, Mexico City's drug-related-homicide rate per 100,000 population was one-tenth of Washington's overall homicide rate - 2.2 deaths per 100,000 population compared with 22. (Drug violence accounts for most murders in Mexico, which historically does not have the gun culture that reigns in the United States.) Media sensationalism accounts for much of the wariness concerning travel to Mexico. The biggest factor may be, as this San Francisco Gate article suggests, that travelers looking for a carefree vacation simply find it easier to write the entire country off than to learn what areas to avoid.

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