Despite the increase in drug-related violence, a closer look at Mexico shows that the country is actually safer than what headlines suggest. As a whole, Mexico’s murder rate is surprisingly low: 12 homicides for every 100,000 inhabitants. When compared to Washington, D.C.’s 31 people per 100,000 inhabitants and New Orleans 64, the numbers aren’t cause for concern if you know where to avoid.
According to the State Department’s warning, these are the places you should take extra caution:
The “Deadliest City in the World” has seen 130 murders per 100,000 inhabitants. More than 2,600 people were killed in Ciudad Juarez in 2009.
Gomez Palacio, Durango, and Torreon
Each of these cities has seen sharp increases in violence. In late 2009 and early 2010, four visiting U.S. citizens were murdered in Gomez Palacio.
Chihuahua, Sinaloa and Northern Baja California
These areas have seen spikes in the number of robberies, homicides, petty thefts, and carjackings.
Tijuana and Nogales
Along with Ciudad Juarez, these cities have experienced public shootouts during daylight hours in shopping centers and other public venues.
Nuevo Laredo and Matamoros
Criminals have followed and harassed U.S. citizens traveling in their vehicles in these areas and in other border cities such as Tijuana.
Monterrey & Highway Travel
Travelers on highways from Monterrey and other parts of Mexico to the U.S. have been targeted for robbery and violence.