US Department of State Mexico Travel Warning - This was initially created in 2016 in reference to a few of the states in Mexico that have organized crime issues. The US Department of State updated this warning to include Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta and Cancun & Playa del Carmen. The reason why is due to shootings which occurred in these towns and crime on the outskirts of the tourist areas, but close enough they want you to be aware and use caution. Drug cartel and gunmen ARE NOT storming the beaches in Mexico, but the media makes it seem that way. Why? Clicks, clickbait, political, fake news, who knows? These words are constant every day wording with social media, news outlets and blogs. Please investigate what you’re reading! By the way, did you know, currently there are no real warnings issued by the Department of State for Barcelona, Paris or London? Take a minute to let that sink in.
We, as a society, have grown accustomed to reading headlines, forming ideas and opinions without ever opening the article to read the “real” story. The news media LOVES to sensationalize these articles. I am not downplaying the recent “advisory” that was updated on the US Department of State’s website, but I am merely trying to make travelers understand that there should not be this mass hysteria that the media has created. The drug cartel has been in Mexico for many years. This is not news, this is life in crime-ridden areas of Mexico. Do you think if this were occurring in the resort areas, that approximately 35 million vacationers would have come home happy and safe last year? Fox News Article on Mexico Tourism in 2016
If you read the warning, it references carjacking and kidnapping and other violent crimes that we also have right here at home in the great USA. Chicago, for example, had over 700 murders last year and on track to have similar numbers this year. I sent grandparents with 7 grandchildren in July to Chicago. They loved their vacation and were safe.
To answer the initial question, there isn’t a “SAFE” place in this world. Recently, I had a friend share this website with me that shows Crime Rankings by Country. Now, as a travel agent, I receive vacation requests from clients who want to travel all over the world. There are very few places I don’t recommend, but that’s because there is crime anywhere you go. Did you know that Honduras is one of the most dangerous places in the world, #3 on this list?! Do you know where Mexico is? It’s #32 down AFTER Puerto Rico at #14. Yep, I had happy clients visit Puerto Rico this summer – the rainforest, the beaches and enjoyed San Juan and the local culture.
What to do if you have a current trip booked to Mexico:
If you do change or cancel your trip, make sure you do it for the right reasons. Read carefully what the Department of State is actually saying, compare to Numbeo.com, and then make an informed decision that is right for you.
You cannot live your life in fear. I mean, you can, but that’s no way to live! Instead use caution and travel with your common sense. Now, let’s go on vacation and enjoy life!
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Shelley Morse's experience in the travel industry spans over twenty-two years. Shelley arranges vacations worldwide, specializing in honeymoons, destination weddings and group travel.