The Atlantic Claims Mexico is Rooting for U.S. Pot Legalization

An article in The Atlantic reports that “a respected Mexican think tank” (IMCO) has determined that if Oregon, Washington and Colorado vote to legalize marijuana, it could significantly damage cartel revenue. The author writes: “The updated research suggests that cartels earn $6 billion each year from marijuana sales in the United States. If Washington, the state most likely to pass its ballot measure, does so, IMCO reports it will cut the cartels’ income by $1.37 billion, or about 23% of […]

Read more »

Dissecting the Media Hysteria

  Jeff O’Brien directed my attention to the excellent article, Mexico Maligned. The author, Terry Denton, launches a convincing and comprehensive response to the U.S. media’s hysterical coverage of the the cartel violence. I particularly like this paragraph: “Just to be clear, I am not suggesting that the media “has it in for Mexico”.  Not at all.  This is not another rant against media bias.  What I do maintain, however, is that in their insatiable thirst for the salacious, Mexico and its […]

Read more »

Mexico City Safer than Minneapolis?

Jeff O’Brien called my attention to this SF Gate article, Five Safest Places in Mexico for Travelers, which is pleasantly free of hysteria. I agree that the states of Tlaxcala, Yucatan, Queretaro, and Baja California Sur are good bets for travelers. That said, I feel the need to point out that this list could easily be a top ten list or even top thirty. The data on death rates can sound more alarming than need be. As the author  acknowledges, […]

Read more »

Letter from a Reader: Am I going crazy, or has Mexico?

editor’s note: We love hearing from our readers, and sometimes the conversations that develop seem worthy of a larger audience. If you feel up to adding a comment, we’d love to hear your thoughts on this subject. Hi Carl and Lorena I’ve traveled with you folks for the last twenty years, and have had only wonderful fun on my trips there. Through all that time there have been people most willing to tell us scary stories about bandits and thugs […]

Read more »

Putting Faces on Statistics

Recommended read: The New York Times reports on a community art project in Ecatepec, Mexico. The project consists of giant photo murals of victims of cartel crime: “The Murrieta Foundation gave photography classes to young people from rough neighborhoods and recruited crime victims as their subjects. “Victim” was defined broadly. Along with those who had witnessed murders firsthand, lost relatives or been the victims of violent crime, the category included drug addicts, the girlfriends of criminals and an old man […]

Read more »

Carjackers, Stewed Iguana, and Pollo Guisado

Just had a great visit with our friends Mark and Jazmin, who live on the coast of Guerrero, about an hour outside of Zijuatanejo. They report that things seem to be cooling off in their area. Last year they made do with a decrepit, rusty truck because they were worried about car jackings. This year, crime seems low enough that they feel comfortable bringing a better vehicle down. I’ll keep you posted. In addition to filling us in on the […]

Read more »

Portrait of America

NPR reports that last year 56 people were murdered in Stockton, CA. Sure, it’s no Ciudad Juarez, but this murder rate implies that Stockton is more dangerous for gringos than Mexican  border towns such as Nuevo Laredo (drug war death rate 50) and Nogales (drug war death rate 28). Meanwhile, San Miguel de Allende gets a clean bill of health with zero drug war deaths during the first nine months of 2011. Oaxaca City, Puerto Escondido, Playa del Carmen, and […]

Read more »

Is the media hysterical?

The expat blogosphere is enraged by the U.S. State Department’s updated travel warning and the subsequent stateside media coverage.  At The Truth About Mexico, John Scherber makes some interesting points about American media coverage of Mexican violence: “Imagine that every day the Méxican media brought out reports on the two or three highest crime areas in the U.S., and by repeating the stories again and again, created the effect of looking in ten mirrors at once.“ Scherber’s exploration of potential […]

Read more »

The Mexico You Love is Still Here

by Felisa Churpa Rosa Rogers As a kid, I was accustomed to the double take, the long stare, the muffled giggle. We spent months of each year traveling the backgrounds of Mexico and Guatemala, and we ended up in a lot of places where the locals hadn’t seen a gringo in years. Of course that was back in the days when Americans were afraid to go to Mexico because they were convinced the country was overrun with murderous banditos and […]

Read more »