Zacatecas – older than Boston, and safer

11:07 PM

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There’s been a lot of news coverage about violence in Mexico, very little of it bothering to note that Mexico is a huge country with thirty-some states and that a) almost all of that violence is narco-related and b) you can count the number of tourists affected on one hand.

Meanwhile, according to the FBI, “An estimated 15,241 persons were murdered nationwide in 2009″ in the United States of America.

Officially, 111 U.S. citizens were killed in Mexico last year, a third in just two cities. Almost all of them were involved in illicit vocations, usually the trafficking of guns, drugs, or people across the border. This is 111 out of close to 8 million visitors, with nearly 1 million of those being part- or full-time residents choosing Mexico over the U.S. or Canada.

You know who else had 111 murders in one year recently? Boston. And Las Vegas. And Orlando. Are any tourists scared of going to those places?
Meanwhile, almost 1,000 U.S. citizens died in Puerto Rico. Nobody running the news desks cares about Puerto Rico or has an incentive to make people scared of Puerto Ricans (by nature, they can’t be “illegal immigrants”), so this isn’t widely reported.

Then there’s the U.S. proper, which can’t get a State Department travel alert because it’s, well, not a foreign country. How’s your city doing in comparison to Mexico when it comes to the annual numbers?

  • Atlanta – city, 80 murders. Atlanta MSA (metropolitan statistical area), 325 murders
  • Baltimore – 238 city, 298 MSA
  • Boston – 50 city, 111 MSA
  • Dallas/Ft. Worth – 210 city, 310 MSA
  • Detroit – 365 city, 447 MSA
  • Houston – 287 city, 462 MSA
  • Indianapolis – 100 city, 111 MSA
  • Jacksonville, FL – 99 city, 120 MSA
  • Kansas City – 100 city, 163 MSA
  • Las Vegas – 111 city, 133 MSA
  • Los Angeles – 312 city, 768 MSA
  • Miami – 59 city, 377 Miami to Boca Raton corridor
  • New Orleans – 174 city, 252 MSA
  • New York City – 471 city, 778 MSA
  • Orlando – 28 city, 111 MSA
  • Philadelphia – 302 city, 436 MSA
  • Phoenix – 122 city, 302 MSA
  • San Francisco – 45 city, 292 MSA
  • St. Louis – 143 city, 210 MSA
  • Washington, DC – 143 city, 325 MSA

To put things in perspective, the murder rate in the Yucatan state of Mexico is 2 per 100,000. That’s about the same as Fond du Lac, Wisconsin or Evansville, Indiana. Mexico City’s is 8 per 100,000. Despite being one of the most populated cities on the planet, that’s on par with Albuquerque, NM. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never felt scared in Albuquerque.


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