Former Mexican resident and educator Allan Wall gives a fair take on the Mexican safety debate at Mexidata, acknowledging Mexico’s violence problem and the sobering statistics of deaths in border towns like Ciudad Juarez and Tijuana. He also acknowledges that more Americans were killed in cartel related violence in 2010 (reportedly 108) than in years past, and that those numbers may be under-counted due to reporting complications such as dual citizenship and people who simply disappear. However, he makes the point that, of those killed, many are involved in criminal or cartel-related activity – and that overall, the number of deaths does not quite match up to reports of rampant violence or of the whole country being in chaos. Says Wall:
Let’s say for the sake of argument that up to 300 Americans die annually in Mexico. Each one of those deaths is a tragedy. But 300 deaths would still be a fraction of the estimated 15 million Americans who visit Mexico annually. So statistically, the chances of an American tourist being killed in Mexico are not very high at all.
Wall urges Americans to make up their own minds about whether to travel to Mexico or not, but to make an informed decision. He recommends the U.S. Travel Advisory as a fair and reliable source, and says, “In any city you visit, it makes a difference as to what part of town you are in, and in what sorts of activities you are engaged.”
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