Monday, March 23, 2009

The Truth About Safety in Mexico

I've been traveling this past week or so, totally neglecting this blog. But it's given me some ideas for future posts. In the meantime, I've run across quite a bit of pushback from Mexico about the issue of safety. It's too late to save Spring Break, but it might help tourism as "high season" ends and the summer season approaches.

So here is a collection of links to articles from people who actually KNOW about Mexico, who live there or travel there and can give you the full scoop.

I'll start of with this delightful quote about Mexico City by "Gary Denness" (http://garydenness.co.uk) from The Truth About Mexico:

Bullets and Bazookas
Come to Mexico City for your vacation, and you actually won’t be beheaded upon arrival at the airport. Nor are you likely to see anyone beheaded. There won’t be any narco gangsters waiting outside your hotels to kidnap you, or to inject you with vast quantities of cocaine. You won’t be stepping over scores of dead, mutilated bodies on your way to the pyramids. Sorry if this disappoints you. I know all those news headlines would have you believe otherwise.

Do read the rest of it by clicking on the "Bullets and Bazookas" link.

I also highly recommend looking at "Personal Safety and Crime" from Rolly Brooks' excellent Web site "My Life in Mexico". Rolly retired to a small town in off-the-beaten-path Mexico and he has a great deal of wonderful information you might want to peruse.

For Spring Breakers there is also some interesting stuff in Megan Finnerty's Spring break blog: Rocky Point 2009 in The Arizona Republic. (Megan seems to be of the opinion that the biggest danger to female Spring Breakers in Puerto Penasco is old fart gringos with video cameras enticing the none-too-sober girls to expose themselves. See "Tragedy: When drunk girls meet men with video cameras")

And here is some more good reading:

Safe Travels in Sensational Mexico Remember: 'It's Not a Theme Park, It's a Sovereign Country With Laws.'

From Arthur Frommer, publisher of the famed travel guides that are so popular. He has a Budget Travel Magazine as well, along with major travel web sites and a weekly syndicated radio travel show. TV Blamed for Fear of Mexico

"Recently, my daughter, Pauline, tangled with a famous television talk-show host on the question of tourism to Mexico - and held her own.

If you will go to www.crooksandliars.com and search for the term "Mexico" in the upper-right-hand corner of the site, you'll find an item asking why the cable networks are attempting to scare tourists away from Mexico. And there you can find a five-minute debate raging between my daughter, Pauline, and a famed television talk-show host who customarily hogs the entire discussion, talks endlessly and without letup, and scarcely allows his guests to utter a single word."


Here's a direct link to the video he mentioned. I'm sorry, but sometimes Bill O'Reilly is such an idiot.

Arthur Frommer again in the Miami Herald, with some great comments from readers. Drug crimes of little concern in the resort areas of Mexico

From the L.A. Times: "Readers Weigh in on Mexico"

In About.com Suzanne Barbezat weighs in with Is Travel to Mexico Safe?

"Mexico is a big country and it's incredibly diverse, so violence along the US border won't have any effect on your vacation in, for example, the Mayan Riviera any more than an earthquake in California would affect people in Chicago."

If you have other links to share, please do so in the Comments.

I'll be back soon with some tips about driving in Mexico, food safety and choices and, of course, more recipes. Same bat channel, same bat time. Stay tuned.

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