Mexico has gotten quite a reputation for violence and crimes.
Most international news agencies that highlight Mexico often do this against a backdrop of murders, drug cartels, and other gruesome crimes.
Because of this, the country has come to be labeled as dangerous for travelers and tourists. Visitors often get warnings before their travel, but most of the bad publicity about Mexico isn’t actually true.
In this article, we’ll shed some light to the false information that abounds regarding Mexico safety and throw in some real statistics to back our argument.
Murders in Mexico
Fallacy: Murder is rampant in Mexico, and people can end up dead in the streets anytime.
Fact: Compared to many countries, Mexico is actually relatively safer for tourists. Most of the news about bloody deaths, severed heads, or people turning up dead anywhere is actually hype, propagated by news agencies that want to get people’s attention and additional viewers. Most stories about killings in Mexico are sensationalized.
* The murder rate in Mexico is not even included in the list of the Top 36 nations with the highest murder rate. The list was released by Nation Master, which based its findings on data from UN. The fact is, ‘known’ peaceful countries such as Switzerland even surpassed Mexico in murder rate.
* Mexico’s murder rate is lower compared to Washington DC alone. Its murder rate is 8 to 9 for every 100,000 – while that of Washington DC is 24 for every 100,000.
* Mexico also has a lower murder rate compared to the celebrated state of New Orleans in the US, which has a murder rate that’s 4 times higher than Mexico (and 5 times higher than Mexico City).
Homicide in Mexico
Fallacy: Homicide is one of the most common crimes in Mexico, and many tourists fall victim to this crime.
Fact: While there may be cases of homicide in Mexico, these are not as many as the media says and not as widespread as they make people believe. Mexico is the 14th biggest country in the world and has 31 states. There may be cases of violence, but most are isolated cases. Most tourists here are safe unless they are involved in drug dealing.
* Mexico ranks 21st when it comes to homicide cases (including unreported ones), surpassed by many countries with a ‘safe and peaceful’ reputation.
* The Yucatan area in Mexico has some of the most beautiful beaches around the world. But while some people say it’s a dangerous place, the fact is that its homicide rate is lower compared to US states considered as safe: Maine, Montana, Oregon and Wyoming.
Assault, Kidnapping and Rape in Mexico
Fallacy: Traveling to Mexico is especially dangerous for women and children because of high cases of rape, kidnapping, and assault.
Fact: Like any other country, there are safe places and dangerous places in Mexico – it’s only common sense to avoid the latter. However, the rate of crimes such as assault, rape, and kidnapping is not really as high as media makes tourists believe. In fact, there are as many as 150,000 Americans who come to Mexico as a visitor EVERYDAY and they go home safe.
* The assault rate in Mexico is 5 times lower compared to the US, according to a report by Prominix.
* The rape rate in Mexico is less than half of the US and approximately 5 times lower than Canada and Australia.
* The kidnapping rate in Mexico is 6 times lower compared to Canada.
* In general, crime rate in Mexico is comparable to Canada, which is known for being a very safe and tourist-friendly country. And yet, while US issues warning to tourists against Mexico, it doesn’t issue any warning against Canada.
All the facts mentioned above reveal that Mexico is a relatively safe place for many tourists. Its wonders shouldn’t be left unexplored just because media paints a rather exaggerated gloomy picture.