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- The United States Government Travel Website Reports the following as of 5/6/2010:“Millions of U.S. citizens safely visit Mexico each year. This includes tens of thousands who cross the border every day for study, tourism or business and at least one million U.S. citizens who live in Mexico. The Mexican government makes a considerable effort to protect U.S. citizens and other visitors to major tourist destinations. Resort areas and tourist destinations in Mexico do not see the levels of drug-related violence and crime reported in the border region and in areas along major drug trafficking routes. Nevertheless, crime and violence are serious problems. While most victims of violence are Mexican citizens associated with criminal activity, the security situation poses serious risks for U.S. citizens as well. “
What the United States does not report, and what our journalists fail to mention are the actual statistics as they relate to the country of target and sensationalized media.
According to National Polls, the United States leads the way, in 2009 for Violent Crimes with a total recorded number of 16,204. The bulk of which occur in such cities as Detroit Michigan, Memphis Tennessee, Oakland California, and St Louis Missouri. Putting this into perspective, for some of you who need a quick geographical reference, Oakland California is a bridge and bay away from San Francisco, California by less than 30 miles. Tourism is the backbone of economy in San Francisco, and saw over 16 million international visitors for leisure and business travel in 2008. I didn’t see a travel warning for San Francisco, or the United States for that matter. As a matter of fact, these facts and figures are never mentioned. I wonder however, how San Francisco, and the U.S economy would fare were travel warnings to be issued and the truth in numbers revealed?
Mexico by comparison in 2009 saw 13,144 total violent crimes. That is 3060 FEWER than that of the United States. According to statistics and reports, 1600 of these were in fact centered in Juarez and specifically related to the Narco Insurgency. However, relatively speaking the population of Juarez is 1.5 million, by comparison to the reported violent crimes for Oakland California, home to 401,000 people and 1,968 total recorded violent crimes specifically DRUG and GANG related.
Sensationalism sells newspapers, creates loyalty for the writer and a following. Sensationalism increases Nielson ratings and keeps the syndicated channels in operation with viewers. However, our sensationalism in the United States, and the skewed if not biased reporting reeks of a lack of integrity and accountability and accuracy. It speaks of corruption on a federal level that is underlying and hushed, one we continue to ignore. While we condemn our southern border country, and drive her economy further down, we holler and wail and launch boycotts and cast stones onto a country we are systematically destroying by adversely affecting her economy through her leading source of income, TOURISM. We cry “safety first”, “don’t travel to Mexico” and effectively bite the hand that feeds her, while we are outraged at the audacity of the illegal immigration issue that now plagues our country.
At what point do WE AMERICANS ASSUME RESPONSIBIBILTY???? The violence on the borders stems from Narco Insurgency. What does this mean in lay-mans terms? The United States is the world’s largest consumer of cocaine (shipped from Colombia through Mexico and the Caribbean), Colombian heroin, and Mexican heroin and marijuana; The United States is a major consumer of ecstasy and Mexican methamphetamine; and a minor consumer of high-quality Southeast Asian heroin. The United States is THE illicit producer of cannabis, marijuana, depressants, stimulants, hallucinogens, and methamphetamine; and a money-laundering center. Right here, in our own backyards.
Yet, there are no travel warnings, and our economy is not affected to the end Mexico is affected by our reporters irresponsibility.
I read an article on a Face Book Boycott Mexico page, indirectly. The page highlighted a May 2010 death of an 18 year old girl found dead in Mexico in the company of two Hispanic men. The girl, from my new hometown, Sugarland, Texas, was reported missing around the 26th of April. For some idea about the background, this kid came from “Pleasantville “ U.S.A. A perfect town center, with not one sign of graffiti anywhere, just 20 minutes outside of Houston, Texas. The houses set back amidst perfect lawns, and cookie cutter neighborhoods and communities, with oak lined streets and H.O.A’s, speaks of a climate of Family First, and Community at its best. Voted several years in a row as one of FORBES top places to live and raise children and home to the Coca Cola-Minute Maid headquarters, Sugarland is touted for its pristine, unaffected, clean living and good old fashioned family values.
This 18 year old blonde “sweetheart”, a senior in High School, was the subject of the news for several nights running, because the mystery surrounding her disappearance and ultimately discovery was fodder for further campaigning against travel into Mexico. It was presented as a senseless crime. What was not further reported was that this girl, just 18 years old, was in fact in the company of the two men, south of the border, because she was involved in a human trafficking scam. A high school student by day, with golden locks and an air of innocence was in fact a stripper in the greater Houston area, and was involved with some rather unsavory characters, leading to her ultimate demise. A s a parent of a child the same age, relentless in the pursuit of true morality and values and family values, I was astounded and sickened.
Desperate times call for desperate measures. When Hurricane Katrina wiped out New Orleans, Louisiana, the city became among the top three most dangerous and criminal in the United States. The poverty sank, the needs arose and insurance was held up for months and months. With the loss of TOURISM, and the hit to the economy and infrastructure of the city, her people grew desperate and aggravated assault grew rampant. What is the difference between these events and those in Mexico, in which her people, devastated by the loss of tourism and subsequent economy find alternate if not violent ways to survive, and predicated on the United States consumption of the commodities in question and the cartels that run them?
Interestingly, India with a total violent crime number of 37,170 for 2009, Russia following close behind with 28,904 and Columbia third in place with 26,539, the only travel warning I could find this morning on the Untied States Travel Warning site was for Columbia.
Mexico depends on travel and tourism in both leisure and business sectors to sustain her economy and feed the country. I continue to ask the question, with the irrefutable numbers of gang and drug related violence in Oakland, California, should we issue a travel warning against venturing to San Francisco just 22 miles away?