Is Mexico Safe to Visit?
News services all over the world have recently carried stories about drug related violence in Mexico. You are right to be concerned, but you should keep in mind that this violence is concentrated in towns and cities along the border between Mexico and the United States and that most of Mexico remains unaffected by it. This is true of Querétaro, which is located far from the border in south-central Mexico. In fact, drug related crime in Juarez (near the border) has as much of an effect on your safety in Querétaro as an earthquake in Los Angeles would have on your safety in Chicago. Querétaro’s reputation as the safest city in Mexico remains unchanged.
The U.S. State department issued a travel alert (their lowest level of warning) on February 20th, 2009 in response to the violence along the Mexico-U.S. border. The alert’s summary offers the following excellent advice:
While millions of U.S. citizens safely visit Mexico each year (including thousands who cross the land border every day for study, tourism or business), violence in the country has increased recently. It is imperative that travelers understand the risks of travel to Mexico, how best to avoid dangerous situations, and whom to contact if one becomes a crime victim. Common-sense precautions such as visiting only legitimate business and tourist areas during daylight hours, and avoiding areas where prostitution and drug dealing might occur, can help ensure that travel to Mexico is safe and enjoyable.
" (Please visit travel.state.gov for the full text of the State Department’s alert.)
The following comments by foreign government officials familiar with conditions on the ground in Mexico are both representative and accurate:
"You can see that certainly the conventional tourist spots, the major tourist locations in Mexico, don't have any more risk involved than at normal times."
-Peter Kent, Canada's junior foreign minister - Canada Broadcasting Center
"We notice that many of the violent activities are localized in several different places. They are not generally across the north of Mexico, let alone through the entire country."
- Gordon Duguid, U.S. State Department - PR Newswire
"Violent criminal activity fueled by a war between criminal organizations struggling for control of the lucrative narcotics trade continues along the U.S.-Mexico border. Attacks are aimed primarily at members of drug trafficking organizations, Mexican police forces, criminal justice officials, and journalists."
- U.S. The Bureau of Consular Affairs - articlebase.com
At the Querétaro Language School we take the safety of our students very seriously. If you have any questions or concerns about safety, please do not hesitate to contact us.