The stories of drug related violence and murder in Mexico that you hear about so often in the news can make the country seem more dangerous than it is. It’s helpful to look at the statistics in context to other places. As Foreign Policy magazine recently pointed out, Mexico’s homicide rate is less than that of another popular tourist destination, Brazil, while Mexico City’s rate was lower than that of Washington, D.C.:
“Mexico’s homicide rate has fallen steadily from a high in 1997 of 17 per 100,000 people to 14 per 100,000 in 2009, a year marked by an unprecedented spate of drug slayings concentrated in a few states and cities, Public Safety Secretary Genaro Garcia Luna said. The national rate hit a low of 10 per 100,000 people in 2007, according to government figures compiled by the independent Citizens’ Institute for Crime Studies.
By comparison, Venezuela, Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala have homicide rates of between 40 and 60 per 100,000 people, according to recent government statistics. Colombia was close behind with a rate of 33 in 2008. Brazil’s was 24 in 2006, the last year when national figures were available.
Mexico City’s rate was about 9 per 100,000 in 2008, while Washington, D.C. was more than 30 that year.”