The LA Times has an ongoing section on their website called “Mexico Under Siege: The Drug War At Our Doorstep.” The most visible items on the opening page are a quotation from Mexican president Felipe Calderon (“It’s a war”) and the number of dead since January 2007 (30,196).
With that kind of carnage over a three year period and daily reports of violence, it makes perfect sense that the first question I often hear from supporters is “are you safe down there?”
The simple answer to that question is: “I feel as safe as I did when I arrived in Mexico City in 2005.” While the country has, in fact, descended into the drug war, most of the violence has taken place more than 1000 miles to the north of Mexico City in the border states and creeping down towards and into Monterrey.
While Mexico City has registered a not insignificant number of drug related deaths, and continues to be a city in which one needs to exercise caution and use common sense, overall it continues to feel the same as it has throughout this decade.
One interesting article to read might be an August article that appeared in USA Today, “Mexico violence not as widespread as it seems.” The article notes, among other things, that the murder rate in Washington, D.C. in 2008 was nearly quadruple that of Mexico, D.F. in 2009.