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Why Mexico is Safer than You Think

This is information from the U.S. Department of State and other experts.

Most of the tourist and resort areas are separated by hundreds of miles from the volatile battlegrounds of the drug war. Tourism officials say staying away from Mexico City, Puerto Vallarta and other areas of Mexico because of what is going on it Ciudad Juarez would be like not traveling to Nebraska because of something happening in New York City. (Wall Street Journal)

According to the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. and Mexico border areas are most affected by the drug wars and if there is some sort of drug violence or serious crime, it generally doesn’t take place in tourist areas. (Fodor’s)

That also applies to our area of Ajijic, Lake Chapala.

In it’s efforts to combat violence, the Government of Mexico has deployed military troops to various parts of the country. (U.S. Department of State)

Security expert, Mike Ackerman, president of the Ackerman Group, and investigative security firm, says most of the drug-trade crime with Mexico is “narco on narco” (drug lord on drug lord) violence or violence again police. Kidnapping, another growing problem in Mexico, almost always targets wealthy Mexicans, not Americans or other foreigners. (Wall Street Journal)

Heide Bronke Fulton, a State Department Spokeswoman says “we are not advising people not to go to Mexico”. She adds hat the main areas of concern are cities and towns near the U.S. border. (Wall Street Journal)

According to information from hotels, urban business travel hotels in areas like Mexico City have not seen a booking drop-off, despite reports of increased crime in Mexico. (Fodor’s)

This is also true for La Nueva Posada, which is the most popular hotel in Ajijic, Lake Chapala.

This is an interesting statistic: You’re more likely to die in a car accident in Mexico than any other way. Of the 681 non-natural, non-military deaths of the United States citizens in Mexico recoded by the U.S. Department of State between July 1st, 2006 and June 30th, 2009, roughly 300 were listed as “Vehicle Accident –auto”. Most of the 150 or so homicides listed took place in border regions not in the central region where Mexico city and Ajijic, Lake Chapala are located.

The Wall Street Journal tells us that in 2008, 22.6 million people, including 5.8 million Americans visited Mexico. Tourism is a big business, it’s in the best interest of the country to keep travelers safe.

Fodor’s online travel guide contributors ,Gerard Helferich and Teresa Nicholas are also residents of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico since 2002. From their experience “The American news coverage of Mexico’s drug violence has made the problem seem more widespread that it is. The likelihood of a visitor encountering this violence is remote. The targets are the police, the army and other gang members not ordinary citizens of tourists. Living in the central part of the country, our only exposure has been what we’ve seen and heard on television. Our town of San Miguel de Allende and the surrounding area seem as safe as ever”. (Fodor’s)

This central area they mention also includes Ajijic, Lake Chapala

Keep in mind that Mexico City is 1,543 km, 958 miles away from the danger in Ciudad Juarez. To put that distance into perspective, that would represent the same distance between Toronto, Canada and Atlanta, GA. We in Ajijic, Lake Chapala are also more than 7 hours from the border of Mexico and the U.S. where Ciudad Juarez is located.

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