Consumer Affairs reporter Darryl Nelson recently interviewed well-known travel expert Peter Greenburg, asking him a frequent travel question these days: is it safe to travel to Mexico? Greenburg’s answer was, “Unequivocally, yes.” Says Greenburg:
“If you look at the map, Mexico is a huge country and whatever violence is happening in Mexico, first of all, it’s directed at Mexicans to other Mexicans. Americans are not being targeted, and let’s take a look where it’s happening.
It’s happening in locations where American’s don’t even go—in Nuevo Laredo, Ciudad Juarez—and if you actually look at the real numbers of how many people have been killed in the drug violence, it is staggering, there’s no getting around that. Depending on who you believe its 50,000 to 60,000 people in that last 20 years.
Of those, ask yourself how many of them were Americans. I can tell you, less than 20—and of those 20, I think 17 of them were vacationing American drug dealers, because look where they were killed. They were killed in places like Nuevo Laredo and Ciudad Juarez.”
Greenburg himself travels to Mexico several times a year, and has not encountered any problems. He highly recommends Mexico as a tourist destination for active and adventure seeking travelers. As far as safety is concerned, he suggests travelers take practical safety precautions, such as informing themselves about the area or country they are planning to visit, and using common sense while traveling. And what about spring break? Should spring breakers avoid the country? Greenburg says that parents should be more concerned about their kids’ alcohol consumption and partying, than being faced with violence.
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