• Apr

    Why You Should Question Media Reports About Violence in Mexico


    First off, I’m not saying that violence doesn’t happen in Mexico. It does, and sometimes the stories can be horrific. The worst places seem to be the border towns and some other spots in Mexico. To those worried about violence in these locations I say: “Don’t go there.” It’s that simple.

    When people find out I’m a traveler and regularly go to Mexico, I’m often asked: “Aren’t you afraid of the violence?” “Aren’t you afraid of being killed?” I shrug my shoulders internally and think: “Here we go again.”

    When I answer: “No,” this astonishes my listeners, every time.

    And then the complaints begin: “Mexico is way too dangerous for me.” “You’re really taking your life in your hands if you go there.” “I heard about ‘x’ being killed in this terrible situation and I’d never go to such a violent place.”


    Can’t you see you’re being manipulated by the media? Can’t you see that the media tells you what they want you to believe? Can’t you think for yourself? Have any of you bothered to do some research on the realities of visiting or living in Mexico? You’ll find an entirely different story if you do.

    And the other issue is: What about violence in Canada or the US? How is that different? How come we’re not hearing so much about that? Again, think about it. You learn what the media wants you to know, nothing else.

    Also, because of these different reports of violence you’re painting the entire country as bad, which is idiotic, in my opinion. Tell me, if you heard that some people were murdered in Detroit, would you paint the entire United States as bad? Not likely. Then why do you do it with Mexico? The logic doesn’t make any sense.

    I’ve heard just about every complaint imaginable over the years. And in virtually every case, the person sharing is just parroting what they read or saw in the media. Many of these people have never been to Mexico and yet they act like authorities on what happens there. Even worse, sometimes the person I’ve been speaking with has tried to convince me that I’m really naive and misinformed. What arrogance!

    One time I was in a grocery store, talking with a fellow I met in the lineup. I was talking about my time in Mexico and said that I’d become ill at one point and had to go to the doctor and get some blood work. He said: “You’re lucky you didn’t catch anything.” I was flabbergasted.

    I stood there for a while wondering what to do next and carefully phrased my next question, which was: “So, when was the last time you were in Mexico.” He said: “I’ve never been. I’d never go to such a backward and violent place.”

    “Thanks for showing me your ignorance,” I thought, and kept my mouth shut after that.

    Note: Mexico has a first-rate medical system from what I’ve seen. I’ve had to make use of it several times when I’ve become ill. I’ve found the doctors to be well-trained, compassionate and kind.

    It’s time to put things into perspective. I’ve been traveling to Mexico for eight years. I’ve lived in Mexico for three of those years and I’ve traveled all over the country. I even drove down the Baja to La Paz and returned to Canada last June on a solo drive of three days. In all that time I’ve never seen any violence. Am I special or lucky? I don’t think so.

    When I was there, I’d speak to my friends about the media reports. We’d look around, feel the peace of where we were and shake our heads. What we repeatedly spoke about was the deliberate disinformation campaign being spread by the media. None of us believed it.

    Here are a couple of stories to make you think:

    The point of this post is simple. Stop believing wholesale what you encounter in the newspapers, radio or television. Instead, do your own independent research with Internet searches. Get on forums and discussion groups. Talk to the locals, talk to immigration. You’ll learn a different story. And while you’re at it, be careful when reading stories that quote statistics. Those can easily be manipulated.

    I invite your feedback.

    © Nathan Segal


5 responses to “Why You Should Question Media Reports About Violence in Mexico” RSS icon

  • Nathan,

    Thank you for your article. I agree with you although most people think I’m crazy.

    When I travel to Buccerias MX, I feel completely safe to walk the streets. I freely chat with whomever I meet, and always enjoy the warmth of the locals. However, as a womam, I never walk alone at night. Especially, I never walk alone at night when I am in my hometown of Vancouver. When I wander the streets of Vancouver during the day, I don’t chat freely with locals.

    Yes, I do feel more safe when I travel to Mexico and explore. Use common sense no matter where you are, trust your instincts and enjoy.


  • Am a Canadian living the last 26 yrs. in one of the most violent states in Mexico…Guerrero and coincidently am from Vancouver the same as Eileen and my comments are directed to her statement.
    Unless she lives with the crackheads in the Eastend of Vancouver there is no reason in the world for her not to engage in conversation or walk the streets in Vancouver or in any place in Mexico. A large part of the world would acknowledge that Canadians are among the most friendly and helpful people in the world. No reason at all, anymore than any other part of the world, including Mexico.
    And btw Buccerias is a quiet little village set up mostly for tourists a little way out of Puerto Vallarta so of course it is very safe.
    Think she should use a little of the “common sense” she suggests in her own city of Vancouver.

  • Great article, i use to say to my family in the US, your kids are more safe in Cancun, Puerto Vallarta or Los Cabos than their schools, this is a true!

    Thanks for write and speak about the true in Mexico

  • Statistically it is probably fine to visit Mexico. But I am influenced by the media reports of Canadian tourists being killed there. Whether it is rational or not I won’t be making any trips there.

    A friend of mine was bit by a stray bullet at a nightclub in cancun. This also probably impacted me disproportionately to the actual level of risk.

    To each his own is what I say.

  • Sorry to hear about your friend. These things happen.

    As for the reports, in my opinion you are definitely being manipulated by the media. Has it ever occurred to you that you see only what they want you to see, that you’re not getting the full story? If you want to really find out what’s going on, get on forums, talk to the locals, make friends and then make up your mind. Right now (again in my opinion) you’re letting the media do your thinking for you. And you’re letting them scare you. Scared people are easy to manipulate. If you want to end the cycle, learn how to ask the right questions, become informed and set yourself free of the disinformation of the media machine.

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