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Is Mexico Safe…Really?

Lonely Planet has published a very good article recently that brings some reason to this issue of violence in Mexico and how it affects Americans who travel there. We have written about it and have shared our experience, having taken many groups into Copper Canyon and Chihuahua right through these years of the conflict.

Here are the points from the LP article entitled “Are Americans Safer in Mexico Than at Home?” with some comments:

  • 1. Mexico may be more dangerous than the US overall, but not for Americans.
    The basic idea on this point is that the stats show that we are safer there. But there is a flaw in this point and one of the comments below the LP blog post points this out. However there is a line in the text that is worth noting. Americans who go to Mexico with some kind of involvement in the drug trade are lumped in with those who go as tourists. Take these drug dudes out of the equation and I think we would find that this point holds.
  • 2. Texans are twice as safe in Mexico, and three times safer than in Houston.

    Read more: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/blog/2012/04/30/are-americans-safer-in-mexico-than-at-home/#ixzz2FdJV2tdz   This point has the same flaw as the first. However it is interesting that when I was recently in El Paso the Sunday paper was lamenting the rise in violence there. I always feel safer in Juarez than in good old El Paso. And I wonder if non-drug people are actually safer there statistically.
  • 3. And it’s not just Texas.The point here worth noting is that Texans are so jaded about the situation. Also a good point for all of us in the US to get is that the situation is changing there rapidly-for the better- and we don’t hear a peep of this in our press.
  • 4. By the way, most of Mexico is not on the State Department’s travel warning.

    This is a point that the Mexico Tourism Board has been making over and over. Mexico is a huge country and many many areas are not under the warning and have virtually no problems. Also my friend Terry Denton made this point in his blog Travel by Terry with an article called Mexico Maligned.
  • 5. Ms Obama ignored the Texas advice.I remember hearing Michelle Obama interviewed by some network when she took her girls to Mexico last year. The interviewer questioned her sanity and Michelle calmly spoke some sense into the conversation.
  • 6. I am often in border areas…especially Juarez. When I am in Juarez I feel safer than when in El Paso. And beyond this the people are friendlier, the food better and the hotels a much better value.
So this is a good article from Lonely Planet, and from our experience operating Copper Canyon trips many times each year, it reflects reality.

Dave Hensleigh in Juarez, Mexico

Dave actually walked across Juarez for three days recently to illustrate that even this troubled place is open for travel.

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