26 April 2011

Last week’s article in the San Francisco Chronicle named the top five safest places in Mexico to travel to, based on homicide rates:

1. Tlaxcala (1.1 deaths per 100,000) – the safest state of Mexico, an agricultural state with archaeological and historical sites as the main attractions

2. Yucatán (1.3) – famous for its Mayan ruins, beaches, wildlife attractions and eco-tourism

3. Puebla (1.85) – home of both mole poblano and national dish chiles en nogada

4. Querétaro (2.02) – known for its historic attractions, and home to one of Mexico’s Magic Pueblos

5.  Baja California Sur (2.98) – a diverse mix of artsy, urban and rugged cities, with plenty of outdoor and adventure activities

In addition to these states whose homicide rates are comparable to that of Vermont’s, the areas of Campeche, Veracruz, Hidalgo, Chiapas, San Luis Potosí, the Federal District (Mexico City), Tabasco, Zacatecas and Guanajuato are also all considered safe to travel to, all of which recorded single-digit rates.  As always, a useful point of context is homicide rates in American cities.  While Mexico City’s drug-related homicide rate was 2.2 per 100,000 in 2010, the homicide rate for Washington, D.C. in 2009 was 24 per 100,000 (though this number is not limited to drug-related homicide).  The U.S. national average was 5.0

The article reminds travelers to exercise caution and to avoid trouble areas like Acapulco and Ciudad Juarez.   It also urges travelers not to let Mexico’s drug-related violence stop them from traveling there:

Even if the barrage of headlines makes it sound as if the entire country were in flames, the violence that feeds Mexico’s death toll takes place primarily in just nine of 31 states — mainly along the U.S. border where the smuggling takes place and in places where marijuana and heroin are produced.

To read the full article go here.

To access the Mexican government’s official database of drug-related deaths, go here.