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 […]

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Violence Mapped

Travel Weekly offers common sense: “The bottom line, as travel agents and wholesalers are well aware, is that all the most popular tourist areas are demonstrably safe. But just as you wouldn’t feel comfortable sending a client to certain neighborhoods of New York, Washington, Miami, Los Angeles or Dallas, there are parts of Mexico that you would be wise to have them avoid.” Good advice, but their map definitely errs on the side of caution. For example, I have a […]

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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 […]

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Mexico News Round-Up

By Felisa Churpa Rosa Rogers Carl is on a rampage this week and has been inundating my inbox with interesting Mexico links. For instance…. Mexico Security Consultant Walter Mckay gives CBC News a rundown of current cartel hotspots and points out that the cartels aren’t really out for gringo blood. Mckay’s website provides interactive graphics with current data on murder rates in problem areas. Residents propose a controversial solution to the recent crime wave in Ajijic. Should American expats pony […]

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Safety Update from Mexico City

By Churpa Rogers Flying into Mexico City always feels like descending into the coliseum. You never know what’ll be coming at you, or whether you’re a spectator or part of the show. This trip I was particularly wary, as I haven’t been to the Big Enchilada since the escalation of the drug wars. When I was a kid my parents used to take me on buying trips to the capitol. We’d hit up the labyrinthine markets for Guerrero masks, and […]

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Mexico's violence doesn't scare off tourists | Seattle Times Newspaper

In a surprising turnabout, international tourism to Mexico showed a sharp increase this summer — a sign that tourists may be putting aside worries about the economy and fears of drug-related violence, analysts say. Foreign visitors arriving by air to Mexico jumped to 7.1 million in the first eight months of the year — up nearly 20 percent from the same period in 2009 — with most visitors coming from the U.S. and Canada, according to Mexican tourism officials. via […]

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Weary of drug war, Mexico debates legalization | Seattle Times Newspaper

MEXICO CITY — A debate about legalizing marijuana and possibly other drugs — once a taboo suggestion — is percolating in Mexico, a nation exhausted by runaway violence and a deadly drug war. The debate is only likely to grow more animated if Californians approve an initiative on Nov. 2 to legalize marijuana for recreational use in their state. Mexicans are keeping a close eye on the vote, seeing it as a bellwether. “If they vote ‘yes’ to approve the […]

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Are You Safe In Mexico?

A frequent contributor to this blog who spends a great deal of time in Mexico has suggested that I open up a discussion about personal safety. This might be my “least favorite” topic but it is also one that I’ve had to address frequently since I first began writing about Mexico almost 40 years ago.  Now, however, with the savage narco war showing no signs of cooling down, the issue is far more complex. To get this discussion rolling, I’m […]

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Narcos, Travel Writing, and….?

Jeff O’Brian writes: “Just returned from Monterrey and if there were no reports of crime on the news I would not know anything was amiss. I love how the deeper I get, the more the People’s Guide resonates. I try different foods, go where there are no tourists and live everyday life as Mexican – hit the local markets, took in a few ball games and ate stuff I never thought I would. Drinking beer with locals around the barbacoa […]

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