Mexico’s president said on Monday that his country was safer than the United States in response to criticism he has received about the nation’s safety, particularly for tourists.
“Mexico is safer than the United States. There is no problem traveling safely to Mexico,” Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said at a news conference.
Obrador’s comments came just a week after four Americans were recovered after being kidnapped in the northern border state of Tamaulipas, just across the Rio Grande from Brownsville, Texas, which left two of them dead. .
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But the Mexican president has argued that Mexico is perfectly safe for Mexicans and Americans and said recent criticism has come from conservative “anti-Mexican” lawmakers who were trying to halt development in their southern neighbor.
Although World Bank data collected in 2020 suggested that Mexico had a homicide rate four times that of the United States, Reuters first reported.
The State Department currently rates six Mexican states as having Level 4 travel advisory problems, i.e. those areas with “the greatest likelihood of life-threatening risk”: Colima, Guerrero, Michoacan, Tamaulipas and Zacatecas, all at risk of high crime and nearly all at high risk of seizure.
“Violent crime and gang activity are rife,” said an area department’s warning. “Most of the killings are targeted killings against members of criminal organizations.”
Tamaulipas is the state where the four Americans were abducted after allegedly being mistaken for Haitian smugglers and holds a level four red flag alert, strictly advising Americans not to travel to any region with this classification.
Travel experts have informed Fox News Digital that Mexico is safe to travel as long as tourists adhere to travel guidelines issued by the State Department.
Major travel destinations like the state of Quintana Roo, home to places like Cancun and Tulum on the Yucatán Peninsula, are safe for American tourists as the State Department has only issued a yellow flag travel warning, which means advises Americans to “exercise more caution”. when traveling there, largely due to kidnappings and thefts.
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Other major global destinations such as France and the UK also have second level yellow flag alerts due to terrorism concerns.
Mexico tourism safety expert Stephanie Farr, founder and CEO of Maya Luxe, told Fox News Digital that tourist destinations like Cancun are “generally considered very safe.”
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The one advice he always gives to tourists traveling to Mexico is to avoid engaging in “any type of drug-related activity.”
Farr said regions popular with travelers often “thrive on tourism.”
“It is in their interest to keep the destination safe so that more tourists come,” he added.
Peter Aitken of Fox News contributed to this article.