Oaxaca mural

Oaxaca mural

Friday, August 28, 2015

"But... but...Isn't Mexico Dangerous?"

One of the very first blog posts which I wrote nearly two years ago was entitled "Is It Safe to Travel to Mexico?".  I wrote that even though the "drug wars" were a tragic problem for Mexico, the probability that a tourist would be the victim of violence was next to nil.

Yesterday, Barbara, the author of one of my favorite blogs, "Babsblog", wrote a post with some interesting statistics.  At the risk of sounding like a copycat, I will repost some of that information here. 

In 2013, according to the Mexican Tourist Board, there were 29.1 million tourists who visited Mexico.  Out of that total there were eleven deaths of U.S. citizens, and only two of those were homicides.  Math is not my strong point, but I calculate that the probability of being murdered while visiting Mexico comes out to around .0000001%  Seems to me that I am safer down there then I am right here in Ohio.

Another statistic, this one from the U.S. Commerce Department, is that in the past year tourism from the United States to Mexico increased by 24%.  Perhaps people are getting over the media-fed paranoia about the "dangers of Mexico".  Perhaps more people are hearing from friends who have had safe and enjoyable vacations south of the border. (In the past years I have taken seven friends with me to Mexico.  They all had a wonderful time, felt perfectly safe, and want to return.)  Or perhaps, as we read constant reports of senseless murders in our own country, we are realizing that the United States is not a haven of safety.  

In the last couple years, I am getting fewer comments from people who are concerned for my safety when I say that I am going to Mexico.  (Of course I don't have much contact with the Trump crowd who thinks that the Mexican people are a bunch of criminals and rapists.)  But if anyone should make a negative comment, thanks to Barbara, I have another statistic to throw at them.   


  1. You really need to look at the incremental death rate. Which is to say that if the 29 million had just stayed home, a certain number of them would have died anyway. By taking the difference between the stay-at-home death rate and the go-to-Mexico death rate you can get a true measure of the danger. Looking solely at how many tourists died in Mexico does not give you the correct estimation of the risk.

    Given the numbers you cited, I'd hazard a guess that you are likely to live longer if you go to Mexico.


    Kim G
    Boston, MA
    Where going to Mexico has definitely lengthened our own life.

    1. This is true... but the statistics certainly run counter to what some would have us believe about Mexico.
      I wonder about the 2 people who were murdered... were they just innocent tourists or were they engaged in some sort of risky, perhaps even illegal, activity?