Mexico: still not as bad as Taco Bell


Carlos Guerrero and Carlos Guerrero

Mexico has got a bad reputation.

Don’t drink the water, be careful of the swine flu. Add the struggles of controlling the high levels of violent crime due to the country’s ongoing drug war and you’ve got a country not even Liam Neeson would come to save you in.

Perception trumps reality, and people think that all of Mexico is dangerous.

Don’t get me wrong, there are places in Mexico I wouldn’t fly over, but it’s not the whole country.

The most dangerous places in Mexico are the northern states near the border, like Chihuahua, Durango, and Sinaloa. About half of all homicides in Mexico last year were tied to drug violence alone, and, according to a Drug Violence data report, two out of every five killings occurred in just three states: Chihuahua, Sinaloa and Nuevo Leon.

The proximity to the border allows drug cartels, and other organized crime, to have easier access to the U.S. to meet the high demand for drugs.

The border town of Ciudad Juarez, “winner” of Mexico’s most violent city for three years in a row, is one of the worst. The city reached its peak in 2010 when it averaged about eight murders a day. It’s gone down considerably since, but it was way too high to begin with for people to notice the difference.

Mexico is a huge country and doesn’t deserve to be defined by the worst places there.

It’s true, it doesn’t sound very appealing to go on vacation to the country with the city that has the title “murder capital of the world,” but there are things being done to help.

According to the Latin American Herald Tribune, the Mexican government is implementing a national tourism policy that emphasizes safety and a good tourist experience.

Tourism accounts for nearly nine percent of Mexico’s gross domestic product and, according to the Los Angeles Times, Mexico predicts it will host 24.7 million foreign visitors in 2013. Image problem or not, people are still going to visit.

The east coast is better and safer. With Acapulco dropping in popularity, tourism is still strong in cleaner and safer resort cities, like Cabo San Lucas and Cancun. Even Mexico City, once on the dangerous side, has made strides and is a safe place to visit as of late.

It’s also not as bad as some of its neighboring countries in Central America. Those countries are so dangerous, maybe it’s best Mexico stopped hanging out with that crowd.