Travel tips

How safe is traveling around Mexico?

According to INEGI, (the Mexican National Statistics Institute) almost 3-quarters of the population perceive that living in their city is unsafe; last year the highest perceptions were in Puebla, Tapachula and Ecatepec, while the lowest in Mérida and San Pedro Garza. Although the perception can be related to the real situation, as in the case of Ecatepec or Mérida, in other cases it has to do with the influence of the media, as in the case of Puebla, where some very famous cases in the The media increase the perception of insecurity.

On the contrary, there is a quarter of the population that does not feel unsafe moving around the country, even in areas with the highest crime rates. The real concern is if at some point one is going to be a victim and suffer some of the facts of crime, although the risk can always be present in any part of the world, the feeling of insecurity can stop the intention to visit a destination, because we associate the facts of crime with personal risk, without really analyzing the causes and forms of violence.

The most dangerous countries are those where there are armed conflicts between different factions seeking power, either through external intervention such as in Iraq, with terrorist groups allied to a political faction such as in Syria or Yemen, or by separatist conflicts such as in South Sudan. On the other hand, there are the countries that live in a peaceful situation and those that are safest are those with a lower degree of corruption and greater welfare and social equality, such as Canada, New Zealand or Denmark. Latin America is in an intermediate situation, because without having armed conflicts it is the region with the most homicides per 100 thousand inhabitants, which is the measure used to calculate this violence, also called the homicide rate.

Is the homicide rate related to culture or social division? Does the fact that it is the region with the largest gap between rich and poor have to do with violence? There are many hypotheses to investigate to find the answer, but we can see a very unequal country like India, where the number of homicides is 3.2 per 100,000 inhabitants, while in Jamaica the rate is 57. There are African countries with serious problems of poverty and inequality such as Cameroon and dictatorial regimes such as Equatorial Guinea that only reach 1.2, on the other hand, Colombia and Mexico have a rate above 25.

But in our country there is also a great difference by state. While Sonora is close to the national average of 25, the states on the drug production and distribution route drastically increase the numbers, such as Sinaloa with a rate of 53, or Guerrero and Colima with more than 100. States far from the routes of distribution or production of drugs dramatically lower their rates, like Yucatan with a rate of 2. It can be seen that this large variation cannot respond to social or cultural aspects, that is, we are not a particularly violent culture, nor inequality Social security necessarily translates into insecurity, although these are aspects to be taken into account, according to the figures, the most important factor that can be found for this violence is the drug trafficking business. In which the vast majority of deaths are involved, so its a business with great risks.

For now, some precautions must be taken such as traveling during the day, along main roads and to tourist destinations, in this way the tourist’s risk is comparable to that of any other tourist destination in the world. 

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