Here are some of my personal observations on the security situation- especially in Chihuahua and Copper Canyon:
1. I was in Puebla and Mexico City a few weeks ago for 10 days and security was not even an issue of discussion. This is interesting since the perception with so many in the US is that ALL of Mexico is gravely dangerous.
2. I watch a website and newsletter that is all about legalizing drugs and thereby stopping the drug war. I don’t fully agree with this viewpoint but I have felt it valuable to watch since they give a weekly Mexico violence update. Two years ago these spots were these graphic explanations of the drug guys killing themselves and the cops. Then I noticed that the stories were less frequent. Then they started running golden oldies- stories from one or two years back. Now there is nothing.
3. Once again I was in Juarez for several days a couple of weeks ago and the continued change is amazing. People cramming the streets, construction and life as usual. I can honestly say now that I prefer Juarez to El Paso or Phoenix. It is cheaper, hotels and eateries are better, people are friendlier- and I actually feel safer.
4. People in El Paso are still as vehemently negative. They are amazed I go to Juarez. Several of us are planning a bi-national 10K run for next October to run from the Mexican Consulate in El Paso to the US Consulate in Juarez. I know this route and I look forward to running it. More than this I look forward to the connection it will bring.
5. I would start taking our groups to Juarez today if I thought people would stand for it. I and other guides are still looking for one incident that has occurred in Chihuahua with tourists.
That’s my experience.