Travel Advisories in Mexico – What Do They Mean for You?

Travel Advisories in Mexico - What Do They Mean for You?

What do travel advisories in Mexico mean to you? I felt I had to address the frequent reports of crime in Mexico, the drug cartels, and the travel advisories. This is just my opinion.

In April 2011, the US department of state put out a travel advisory alerting US travelers to carefully consider travel to Mexico due to the increasing violence of drug cartels. What does this mean to you? Should you cancel your couple getaways? First off, I am no safety expert, so don’t sue me based on this advice. Actually, just don’t sue me.

While some travel advisories warn against travel to the entire country of Mexico (yeah, Texas, I’m talking about you) this one appears to be fair and specific. I get really bothered when I read an opinion, or worse, an official advisory, making a blanket statement about an entire country.  For example, in Mexico, the drug cartel problems are primarily in border towns and away from tourist areas. There have been some acts of violence in tourist areas, but in general, I feel much safer in the Golden Zone of Mazatlan than I do in downtown Seattle.

While in Mexico, I would follow typical safety warning  I would use in any city: stay out of “bad parts” of town, limit the time you are out and about at night, travel with a group, appear confident, etc.

Even with the sharp increase in murders, there are many US cities with higher murder rates than cities in Mexico. Would you believe:

Ohio’s most populous cities have higher crime rates than cities on U.S.-Mexico border?

According to,  the six largest Ohio cities had higher overall crime rates and rates of murder, rape, robbery and burglary than the six major border cities.

In addition, Mexico’s murder rate has fallen sharply from a decade ago. The National Public Security System reports that in 2008, the most recent year with available data, 12 people per 100,000 were the victims of murder. In 1997, the number was 17. In the late 1980s, the murder rate hovered near 20, according to the National Statistics and Geographic Institute.

It’s wise to check out the travel advisories, but utilize them as one piece of information, not the only piece. Check out non-commercial blogs on the subject, put out a request on Facebook or Twitter to see if anyone in your social network has recently visited the area you are considering.

Information sources for this article:

Foreign Policy



What do you think of Travel Advisories? Would you go to Mexico right now?

Related Blogs:

  • Is it safe to travel to Mexico? | The Vacation Center’s Blog – Most media reports of violence in Mexico fail to mention nearly all of these incidents take place along the border and far away from popular resort areas frequented by U. Based on geographic size, it’s among the top 15 largest independent nations in the world. * Major resort areas where Americans like to go, such as Cancun, Cozumel, the Riviera Maya and Cabo San Lucas are quite safe.


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