The Space for Expatriates
Mexico and in particular areas such as Cancun, Tijuana and Acapulco have long been very popular destinations with visitors from the UK and the USA. In recent years however the seemingly unending reports of violent crime and disorder have put off visitors. Hotel bookings in Tijuana, close to the border with California have fallen off catastrophically. Naturally the fall in demand has led to some great deals being available – but would it be foolish to take them up?
Frightening news continues to come out of Mexico. Bizarrely, the latest seems to have be of a possibly supernatural nature. The deaths of 300 goats have been blamed on the vampiric chupacabra. Chupacabra means ‘goat-sucker’ – and it is a legendary beast supposedly connected with the deaths of livestock. Threats to tourists however are far more prosaic, and much easier to verify.
Primarily it is Americans who have been spooked by the extreme levels of gang violence, and a look at the the US State Department’s page of travel advice certainly reveals a lot to be wary of. The threat from gang violence to foreigners is downplayed, though it is pointed out that attacks have occurred in areas frequented by tourists. The list of other danger to be aware of though is truly terrifying. Reading through it you would assume that as a visitor you are pretty much guaranteed to be robbed, raped, and imprisoned after having a confession extracted by torture by corrupt officials.
The advice from the British Foreign Office is a little more reassuring, pointing out that “most visits to Mexico are trouble free”. Non essential travel to Ciudad Juarez (close to the US border) is warned against though, as this area has been the focus of much of the violence of late. Both the US and UK governments official advice have many tips for saying safe – which, if they don’t scare you off entirely, should keep you as safe as you would be anywhere if you stick to tourist areas.
Robin Miller is with Carpe Diem Real Estate in Puerto Vallarta. She has been in the Mexico Resort Real Estate Industry for over 5 years, assisting clients with their buying and selling decisions. Robin is a member of AMPI, the Mexican National Association for Real Estate Agents, as well as being a member of NAR, the National Association of Realtors. She is known as the “Vallarta Beach Bum”.
She can be reached at U.S. (310) 683-0051, or her Mexico Office 011-521-322-222-3494.