One of the common concerns people voice when they are contemplating moving to live in Mexico or visiting on an extended vacation is drug related violence and how safe the country is for foreigners. The media headlines are constantly reporting bloody news from key cities such as Ciudad Juárez or Veracruz, which paint a very biased view of Mexico as the next Colombia of the 1980s and 90s. But how true is this picture? Do you need to worry about drug related violence in Mexico?
The History of Drug Related Violence in Mexico
There is no doubt that the bad press that Mexico receives in relation to drug related violence has its basis in truth. Unfortunately, the drug cartels are well established and nourished by their multi-million dollar business. Not only are they rich but they are ruthless. However, the existence of these cartels in Mexico does not automatically mean that you will be affected by them or that the whole country is under threat of drug related violence. Statistics show that the most common places where foreign visitors go are amongst the safests not only in Mexico but throughout the world. Destinations like Los Cabos, Cancun, Riviera Maya, Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit boast very low instances of drug related violence, particular violence involving tourist or foreign residents.
How to put a stop to drug related violence in Mexico?
If there were no demand for drugs, whether that be in North America and Europe, or in Mexico itself then drug related violence would cease. Likewise, there are arguments for the legalization of recreational drugs in order to clean up the industry and prevent cartels from becoming richer and richer. Under these circumstances, the hope would be that the drug cartels would simply disappear into the darkness.
What about vacations? Is it safe to live in Mexico?
The mainstream media will definitely report all the blood, bullets, and violence in order to get the ratings it needs, but one should remember to think about the bigger picture when it comes to Mexico. One of the most amazing facts is that the most of the cities and towns in Mexico are not violent, but very peaceful, tranquil, and safe. The majority of Mexico’s 120 million inhabitants live peaceful lives where the threat of drug related violence is minimal. The media doesn’t report on the events that take place in the peaceful and safe cities in Mexico. The risks of vacationers, tourists, and visitors being affected by drug related violence is pretty low, although visitors are advised against undertaking any illegal acts. The large number of expats that have relocated to Mexico and consider Mexico as their country and home full and part-time understand that there could be some risk of drug related violence but most don’t move in the kinds of circles where it is likely to affect their lives.
Need more evidence?
We encourage you to take some time and take a look at the published statistics on drug related violence in Mexico and you will see for yourself that Mexico is a very safe country and has very few risks for foreigners. Even so, it is better to be forewarned to avoid putting yourself at risk.