Is the Violence in Mexico Reaching Cabo?
The answer to this question is a resounding "NO". Cabo is safer than most places in Canada and the United States and a great place to visit not only for its natural beauty but also for the safety throughout. I am sharing an article written by Andres Oppenheimer of the Miami Herald below. Please note that the reference to Baja California is referring to the Northern part of the peninsula which is a separate state than the Baja California Sur and 1,000 miles north. The main city drawing the violence in Baja California is Tijuana which is next to San Diego. Cabo is far from there and its violence.
After the murder of two U.S. consulate workers in Mexico's border
city of Ciudad Juárez, many of you have written to me wondering whether
it is safe to travel to Mexico. The answer is: If you are courageous
enough to travel to Washington, D.C., you can safely visit most parts
Despite the escalation of drug-related violence in several Mexican
cities, and the pictures of mutilated bodies dumped on the streets of
Ciudad Juárez and other cities along the U.S. border, a dispassionate
look at Mexico's murder rates shows that some parts of the country are
indeed dangerous, but the country as a whole is safer than what the
latest headlines suggest.
A new study by Brookings Institute Latin
American expert Kevin Casas-Zamora, a former vice president of Costa
Rica, helps put Mexico's violence in perspective.
Casas-Zamora's figures, based on United Nations 2008 data, Mexico's
murder rate is nearly five times less than that of sunny Jamaica and
about half that of Brazil, a country that was recently awarded the
much-coveted 2014 soccer World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games.
Consider his data of Latin America's most violent countries: Honduras
has a murder rate of 61 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants, followed by
Jamaica with 60, Venezuela and El Salvador with 52 each, Guatemala with
47, Trinidad and Tobago with 40, Colombia with 39, Brazil with 22,
Dominican Republic with 21, Panama with 19, Ecuador with 18, Nicaragua
with 13, Paraguay with 12, Mexico and Costa Rica with about 11.5 each,
Bolivia with 10.5 and Uruguay, Argentina, Peru, and Chile with less
Comparatively, while the United States homicide rate is
lower than Mexico's, Washington, D.C., has a murder rate of 31 people
per 100,000 inhabitants and New Orleans has 74.
Mexico is concentrated in a few cities, mainly in Sinaloa, Chihuahua
and Baja California,'' Casas Zamora told me in an interview. ``In
Ciudad Juárez, it's out of control. But in the country as a whole, it
doesn't come even close to Washington, D.C.'s.''
that Mexico's murder rates may have risen in recent months as a result
of the cross fire between Mexican security forces and the drug cartels,
and between the drug cartels themselves. But he added that they are
still significantly below what they were 10 years ago.
for demographic reasons -- Mexico's birth rates are dropping and large
numbers of Mexicans have been migrating to the United States in recent
decades -- murder rates in Mexico have been falling steadily for
decades. They may have picked up only marginally over the past year, he
The U.S. State Department's latest travel alert to Mexico,
issued following the killings of the two U.S. consular workers in
Ciudad Juárez, says it has temporarily authorized the departure of
relatives of U.S. consular workers in the Northern Mexican border
cities of Tijuana, Nogales, Ciudad Juárez, Nuevo Laredo, Monterrey and
Matamoros, and advises U.S. citizens ``to delay unnecessary travel to
parts of Durango, Coahuila and Chihuahua states.''
As for Mexico as a whole, it says that ``U.S. citizen visitors are encouraged to stay in the well-known tourist areas.''
My opinion: Mexico is facing a dangerous rise in violence, and I would
not advise you to spend your next vacation in Ciudad Juárez or any
other place where the drug-related killings are taking place.
But Mexico is a huge country. To say that it's unsafe to travel to
Mexico City, Puerto Vallarta or Cancún -- or that you wouldn't allow
your children to spend spring break in that country, as Fox News'
right-wing airhead Bill O'Reilly said last year -- is as irresponsible
as saying that it's unsafe to travel to some of the biggest U.S. cities.
The State Department's travel alert, while correctly pointing out that
the violence is concentrated in some Mexican states, should have put
Mexico's national figures in perspective. It wouldn't be a bad idea if,
from now on, it compared them with other countries' murder rates, and
with that of its own home city -- Washington, D.C.