Monday, January 17, 2011

A grim start to the New Year in Mexico

Borderland Beat reports:

In the first 14 days of 2011, every 40 minutes a person has been killed in [Mexico] in incidents related to organized crime, marking the beginning of the most violent year in the current administration.

According to Grupo Reforma's executionmeter, which collects data on drug related deaths across the country, 507 drug related deaths have been recorded, so far, in 2011.

Compared to the same period of 2010, which registered 428 drug warrelated deaths, there has been an 18% increase.

In 2007 and 2008, during the same period, drug related deaths were 112 and 111, respectively.

And, by 2009, that number jumped to 179 homicides.

States with the highest number of executions this year are Chihuahua with 96, Guerrero with 78, Sinaloa with 73, Durango with 52, Nuevo Leon with 41 and Jalisco with 37.

Acapulco suffered the most violent deaths in a single day on January 8, when it reported 25 people executed by organized crime, 14 of them beheaded.

There's more at the link.

I've been saying it for years, but it bears repeating: no-one in his or her right mind should be going anywhere near Mexico right now. I don't care how much your teenagers or university-attending offspring bug you to let them travel to Spring Break celebrations there . . . it's just too damn dangerous.

Trouble is, I know full well that in a few short weeks, tens of thousands of US students will completely disregard news reports like this, and warnings from folks like myself, and will go there anyway. Some of them won't be coming back - at least, not alive . . . and their families will bleat, and whine, and complain that "Someone should have warned us!", and look for someone - anyone! - to sue for damages.




JC said...

Peter, I must take exception. Some of the most beautiful areas of Mexico, and the most historical, are quite safe. My family has been visiting the State of Guanaguato for 3 generations, with no problems whatsoever. The difficulty is in the border States and in the Port cities (as should be obvious to anyone looking at the logistics). The old Colonial towns however are pretty much safe. During my last visit to San Miguel de Allende (a major tourist, expat, and artistic destination) the local paper - and, yes, I know the reporters - listed one (1) accidental mugging of a tourist in the previous 2 months.
SMA is a major destination for historians and artists.
As a matter of fact, the town was made famous by a few WWII GIs who came and found the art schools there and decided to move there on their GI Bill grants. Some of them are still there, and break up the rare bar fight. (Is joke).
The town is wonderfully cosmopolitan. I met the first and only Maquis fighter I have known there, and his funeral was attended by expats and "natives" equally.
I realize, Peter, that a fair bit of Mexico has fallen to Detroit standards, but Mexico is a large, great, and proud country, and resents the narcotrafficantes even more than we do in the States.

Anonymous said...

Given so many options, why go there?


ZerCool said...

Our own State Department has had a Travel Warning up since September. How much more warning can you get?

Anonymous said...

JC, since 99% of Touristicus Genericus don't speak Spanish, don't drive in Mexico and don't know where to go that is not on a flashy brochure, I fear Peter's warning (and the State Dept.'s) is correct. And aside from Oxaca, I can't think of many places that the Spring Break crowd would go that are not border or port cities.

Old NFO said...

This stuff IS going to spill over sooner or later... We've been told Mexico is off limits for us.

JC said...

The point about San Miguel de Allende is that it has for many years (since the end of WWII) been a destination for artists and expats. It's a lovely colonial town, and a designated destination for many art students from the States (some universities pretty much require a session abroad, and SMA is one of the top).
My folks (in their 70s) have a part time house there, and I've been going there for over 40 years.
Even as a musician, sitting in with rock and roll bands there, no-one has so much as mentioned drugs.