We had a down day today, watching TV and doing a couple of little chores. CNN is on in the background.
I am amazed to see the depths to which the American Media has gone to create a fear of Mexico! Watching CNN today I was sure that right outside the RV there had to be murders and beheadings going on. "Three thousand killed so far this year! Police are helpless!"
The truth is, Mexico is very safe. I feel much safer down here than I do traveling through the USA. In Mexico women can safely walk the streets at night. Children play outside after dark and nothing happens to them.
The killings that captivate the American news networks are all drug related. These battles are waged in areas where RVers never venture. They are carried out mainly along the USA border and in isolated areas of other large cities. Yes, innocent bystanders are sometimes involved but again, not in areas frequented by tourists. The victims are the poor and marginalized people whose poverty makes them easy pickings for the drug gangs who are flush with US dollars. They are the hired soldiers who risk their lives in exchange for cash, cars and women.
Everywhere we go down here police presence is very obvious. Truckloads of police and army constantly patrol the highways and you never go too far without going through a police or military roadblock. These do not bother me but simply reassure me that the government is keeping us safe.
In the five months we were here last year and the five months so far this year, we have not seen nor directly heard of any serious crime that involved tourists. None. My friend Chris has been trying for months to find evidence of any major crime that involved an RVer. He has not found one instance because there are none. CNN's Anderson Cooper should know better than to feed this paranoia over Mexico.
Yes, border areas are not good places to hang out around, the same as in any country. Pass through the border areas and get a hundred or so miles into Mexico and you will never see violence. Even in the border areas, 99% of the violence occurs late at night when we should all be safely tucked into bed. Let the drug gangs battle it out, tell the USA to spend some of their money on stopping the insatiable demand for drugs. Stop drugs from crossing into the USA and stop the counter flow of guns coming into Mexico. That will stop the violence. Creating unreasonable fear in tourists will only hurt the Mexican economy and discourage people from enjoying this beautiful, safe country.
It has been speculated that this hype is simply an attempt to convince Americans that there is a country worse off than themselves with their financial crisis. I have also heard it is an attempt to keep Americans who have money to travel at home. I do not know the reason but I do know that it is overblown. Stay away from drugs, late night bars along the border and refrain from trying to pick up some Mexican gangsters' girlfriend and you will have no problem here in Mexico.