Tony & Cheri's PlayaZone

Adventures in Playa del Carmen, Mexico

  • Subscribe

  • Top Posts & Pages

  • Categories

  • Archives

  • Blog Stats

    • 859,137 hits
  • Pages

  • Networked Blogs

The Truth about Safety and Crime in Mexico 2010

Posted by Tony & Cheri on August 7, 2010

For the last year, the US and Canadian media have been having a field day in revealing each new atrocity or crime in Mexico. The picture of Mexico as a lawless, dangerous destination has sold a lot of newspapers and filled a lot of time on 24-hour news channels. Yet the truth is the picture of Mexico they present is more myth than fact. Mexico is not the wasteland of drug gang warfare that has been portrayed in the news.

The stunning beach in Playa del Carmen, MexicoThose of us who live in Mexico and those brave souls who have continued to visit here have long known that the violence of the drug wars, while real and horrifying, is limited to a specific part of this country, far from the beaches and resorts of the beautiful Caribbean paradise that is Mexico’s Riviera Maya. Thankfully, it now seems that some reporters in the US media are slowly becoming aware of that fact.

This past week USA Today featured an article amazingly entitled, “Mexico’s Violence Not as Widespread as Seems.” The article by Mr. Chris Hawley sets forth some important facts (as opposed to the sensationalized conjecture so often seen in reports from Mexico). Some of those facts are:

A closer look at the latest official statistics indicates that much of Mexico has modest murder rates.

• The murder rate in 2009 was still lower than it was a decade before, long before the Mexican government began a crackdown against the cartels.

• The state with the lowest murder rate is Yucatán, the Gulf of Mexico state known for its beaches and Mayan ruins. Its murder rate of 2 per 100,000 was comparable to Wyoming and Montana.

• Washington, D.C.’s murder rate is nearly quadruple that of the Mexican capital, Mexico City. Washington’s murder rate was 31.4 per 100,000 people in 2008; Mexico City’s rate in 2009 was 8.

Mr. Hawley’s balanced article makes several of the points we and others have been making for months now: Yes, the drug wars in central Mexico are terrible and constitute a danger to those living and traveling there. However, those areas are far removed from the beaches and resort areas of Mexico’s Caribbean Coast. Mr Hawley’s entire article can be seen here.

A similar article recently appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle under the title, “Most Dangerous Places in Mexico — and Where it’s Still Safe to Travel” by Christine Delsol. Ms. Delsol’s article notes that:

“Geography is still the overriding safety factor; most of the violence happens around the lucrative points of entry to the United States, particularly in manufacturing areas with a large U.S. presence. You can still go to Mexico, as about 18 million Americans do every year, and have a carefree vacation.”

Ms. Delsol also quotes Stratfor, a global intelligence company that advises government agencies, international corporations and other organizations on security issues as finding that:

“Popular tourist areas remain the safest places in the country.” She also notes that “Stratfor singles out Cozumel, Cancún and Los Cabos as the safest of all.” Ms Delsol’s entire article can be seen here.

And of course, no less than the First Lady of the United States recently visited Mexico and invited her fellow countrymen to do the same. “I would encourage any American to spend time here,” she said.

In keeping with the facts and the reality of the situation, we would again ask…would you cancel a trip to New York or Orlando because of the high murder rate in Washington DC? If your answer is no, then it should be clear that the same rule applies for Mexico, i.e. violence several thousand miles away should not be a reason to avoid those peaceful and beautiful parts of this wondrous country.

It’s time to talk truth and facts: Mexico’s Caribbean beaches are among the most beautiful, tranquil and safe in the world. We invite you to come and see for yourself.

Read our most current blog entry about safety:
Safety in Playa del Carmen Mexico ~ 2012

9 Responses to “The Truth about Safety and Crime in Mexico 2010”

  1. Thank Tony and Cheri for helping to dispel the negative effects of the misleading and manipulative reporting by the mainstream US media. It is imperative that those of us that live here or visit here often do our best to spread that word that Mexico is a lovely and safe place to explore and enjoy. Keep up the good work!

  2. Mark said

    Kudos Tony & Cheri for sharing such a wonderful and necessary piece with the public. Yes, the negativity about Mexico has been a non-stop flow from media personnel who have probably NEVER stepped across the border to discover what a beautiful AND safe country it really is! I am very encouraged when I read pieces similar to your yours and am hopeful that people will look beyond the journalistic garbage that’s produced on a daily basis that may discourage those unfamiliar with the country. Keep up the great work!

  3. Paty said

    Excellent article Tony and Chery. It’s great to have the opinion of people who are actually living in Mexico. Thank you for sharing

  4. Robert Coleman said

    My wife, Cindy, and I have been coming to PDC for nearly 10 years now. I have never encountered any violent crime or been victimized. It is a beautiful community and the Mexican Goverment is well aware of the Riviera Maya’s allure to Americans, Europeans and Mexicans. We take safety precautions, like not being out after 1 AM in the morning and not being in neighborhoods that we are not familiar with or appear questionable.

    Though I speak a little Spanish, my motto is to be polite, engaging, and treat the locals with respect, kindness and a little humor.

  5. Larry said

    It’s amazing to me how many people think all of Mexico is dangerous because of what happens in some areas. So many people are surprised that we travel to Mexico and feel safe. Just as you would avoid certain places at home, you can do the same thing when you are away.

    Carolyn and I are hoping to put another trip together to Playa, and the Luna Blue in November.

  6. gringation said

    I read the USA Today article last week and LOVED it! What made me sad and angry was reading the comments. Mexico has been bashed for so long that some Americans can no longer accept that it’s actually a safe place to go. Hopefully this will start to change soon.

  7. Hola Tony and Cheri!
    Thanks for writing the article and sharing it with us!!

  8. Dale said

    I enjoyed reading your article, and while I appreciate it may have been completely accurate in the past, surely the recent bar bombing killing 8 in Cancun requires some serious second thought!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: