Crime happens everywhere, but…

2011-01-25

This article follows the analysis of the statistic of this website and the search/keywords that bring people here. We hope to give some of the answers people may be seeking. Mexico isn’t what it used to be. We have traveled there before our mom’s murder and had a really good time. In the aftermath of the legal, diplomatic, and political aspects following this tragic event and our multiple stays there, we got a more thorough perspective of what’s really going on there. Yes there is violence because of the drug war, but there is violence period, even toward tourists. For those that might be worried, we have fallen back on our feet and live relatively normal lives. Anyhow, this doesn’t mean we will let go until we have total justice and all the procedures are over. Thank you for reading and supporting us.

As of August 10, 2010, the conflict that started in 2001 in Afghanistan had cost 19 629 lives. This includes combatants of all factions, contractors, journalists and civilians. Although some estimated go up to 35 000 deaths, since the beginning of the war against drug in Mexico in 2006, 27 199 deaths are accounted directly to the conflict. More or less, that is approximately 7500 people (38,5%) more than in Afghanistan in half the time. These figures do not include other murders nonrelated to the drug war. Afghanistan is war zone, Mexico, officially, is not.

The Mexican authorities do not compile official statistics for crime rates. Only private firms like Prominix produce such statistics compiled mainly from the information collected in the media. In its last report, we can see that Quintana Roo remains by far, the capital of the rape in Mexico, and remains in second position, equal with five other States in regard to the composed index of violent crimes.

The Cartel internal wars mostly touched the northern region of the country, but the last year, a rise in violence was witness in the south too, more precisely in Acapulco, Cancun and Playa del Carmen. On top of the decapitations and bodies left here and there to send messages, there’s also the extortion that sometimes ends up with Molotov cocktails thrown in bars filled tourists. Like the eights who died in Cancún at the end of August 2010.

Let us go back to the origins of the Los Zetas. A special ops unit of the Mexican army, they changed side and worked for the Golf Cartel has a private army. They then made from agreements in 2003 with the Golf Cartel and the Beltrán-Leyva Cartel to control their own smuggling route. In February 2010, the Zetas become independent and an additional conflict bursts in the south of the country, including in the tourist zones. Cancún is one of the Zetas base of operation.

Although Mexico has a good national production of narcotics for export, including the production of heroin, cocaine comes from South America. It goes mainly in Mexico by ground (Guatemala, Belize) and by sea route. The most southern States bordering the sea, and living mainly from tourism, are Guerrero (Acapulco) in the west, and Quintana Roo (Cancun, Riviera Maya, Playa del Carmen and Isla Mujeres) in the east.

In regards to crimes against tourists, it is true that it can happen anywhere. However, to have lived it, what surrounds a crime is very different from what someone can live in so called first world countries. That is: the approximate justice system, the media or the generalized mentality of the ostrich to name only those. We do not wish to anybody to live such a nightmare, and even less to live it in Mexico.

Although we are starting to have some kind of justice, it is not finished yet and many questions remain unanswered. We are also a case of exception, not the norm. 98.5% of the committed crimes remain unpunished according to the Monterrey Institute Technology.

In this context, it is interesting to see, and to hear, the rant of Quintana Roo Federal Susana Hurtado Vallejo in Isla Mujeres, concerning the exaggeration, according her, of the warnings from the American State Department. Once more, rather than face the problem head-on by, for example, professionalize the police force (like Calderón had promised), reduce poverty, often a source of criminality, and so on… one strikes on the consequences of its government own inactions and the exponential problems of these instead. Then, the United-States are blamed because they are a big consumer of drug. Whoever went to Mexico knows that the drugs are not only transiting.

Even more interesting as in spite of its sentence, Jose Palacios Garza, murderer of at least two people, including his own mother, was still imprisoned on the island at the time of Hurtado Vellejo statements. He still awaits his transfer to the prison of Cancun, where five people escaped on December 31st.

Photo : SIPSE/Novedades : Security measures of a multiple murder in Mexico.

Stories of tourists having problems in Mexico flood the media. Last week in Playa del Carmen, a Canadian couple was victim of the police forces; repeated rape and a robbery. Not to forget that, according to the data compiled CTV’s W5, the Canadians already had 34 times more chances to be victim of a crime in Mexico than in Canada. This was before the explosion of violence. The safest place, statistically to take a vacation: Cuba.

In spite of the alarming and anarchistic national situation, Mexico is not officially a war zone, or officially a failed state. Canada recommends its citizen to exercice a high degree of caution, and to avoid non-essential travel in the north of the country. The American State Department emitted a warning to its citizens concerning vacationing in Mexico: “the situation poses also a risk for the American citizens”. Although the northern part is specifically addressed, information concerning the tourist areas referred to above remains unambiguous.

The Mexican authorities bend over backwards to keep the flourishing tourism industry prosperous. It is the 3rd industry for the country and the first industry in the State de Quintana Roo. These maneuvers include compromising the dignity and the reputation of the victims of crimes, to hide the truth and some times, run their justice system against all know definition of justice. The latest blatant example of truth manipulation: the explosion of last November in Large Riviera Princess at Playa del Carmen which killed five Canadians.

The economic message is clear, tourist increased by 35%. The number of Canadian visiting the country went from 1 to 1.4 million in one year. Each dollar spent in Mexico is a dollar that endorses the current practices. Will you be the next victim or the next indirect silent endorser of crime against people? It is sad for the vast majority of people in Mexico that the situation is at this degree. It does not reflect their hospitality, their generosity and their love for life. All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.

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