With reports in the media about killings and the State Department issuing travel warnings about visiting the country, you might well be asking yourself is it safe to travel to Mexico? I decided to have a look at some of the facts behind the stories to give you the simple answer.
Is Mexico safe
Violence: Where it is
It is highly unlikely that you will be involved in or even witness a violent crime when you are in Mexico. Of the 2,500 municipalities in the country less than 20 have a security problem. This means that in a country the size of Western Europe, you have to avoid an area the size of Wales, making it very safe to travel in Mexico.
Is Mexico safe for tourists
Looking at the murder rate per 100,000 gives you an idea of just how safe travelling to Mexico is. The death rate per 100,000 is 22.8. Yes that’s way above Canada at 1.6, but it’s a hell of a lot less than Honduras at 91.6 or even the beautiful Caribbean island of St. Lucia at 25.2.
Mexico safe for tourists
The Mexican Government hasn’t yet published its tourism figures for 2012, but in 2011 22.7 million foreign visitors arrived by air. The only time most of those tourists felt like they were going to die were after drinking too much Tequila.
Travellers safe in Mexico
As a tourist, the simple question you have to ask yourself is why would you want to visit one of the three states where violence caused by the drugs trade is happening, when there is so much more of the country that is a) safer and b) more interesting? Put simply you wouldn’t. So unless you happen to try to set yourself up as a drug kingpin the sensationalist media stories shouldn’t bother you.