Majority of Americans Think Mexico Unsafe


While the U.S. State Department recently updated its travel warning advisory for Mexico in anticipation of holiday season traveling, its risk assessment remains the same and Americans continue to believe that the country is an unsafe destination.
Tourist spots and resort areas remain relatively safe despite the country’s raging drug war, according to the State Department. Millions of Americans visit Mexico every year for business, study and tourism, including more than 150,000 who cross the border daily. The Mexican government makes pointed efforts to protect U.S. citizens at major tourist locations, and no evidence has been found that drug cartels target Americans, according to a recent article on the Huffington Post Latino.
The State Department still discourages going to Chihuahua, Coahuila, Durango, Nuevo León, Sinaloa and Sonora, among others states. The bulk of Mexico’s drug-related violence is in the north, where cartels fight over trafficking routes into the United States, which remains the largest market in the world for illicit drugs, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
Mexico’s drug wars have shocked the world with the severity of its violence. Mexico’s President Felipe Calderón declared war on drug cartels in 2006 and more than 60,000 people have died violently since. But while border violence has started to decrease, 72 percent of Americans think Mexico is unsafe, according to a recent survey by Vianovo consulting firm.
The survey shows that Americans have a generally negative view of Mexico: 59 percent said Mexico is a source of problems for the U.S., while 65 percent said the country is “dangerous and unstable.” Ten percent thought the country is winning the fight against drug traffickers.
President Calderón is a strong critic of those who have pointed out the country’s violence during his administration, claiming that Puerto Rico, Colombia and the Dominican Republic have higher murder rates than Mexico, according to the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime.