Mexico managed to edge up the list of countries to avoid this year based on its exciting levels and combinations of violent crime. Women have been raped and robbed or kidnapped and held while their credit cards were used at ATMs. Kidnappings are up, murder, drug trafficking, and gang violence continue to be a problem. As such, Mexico moves up to #2 on the 2016 List of 10 Most Dangerous Countries for Women Travelers.
Rating: Really Dangerous
Yes, it’s still true that millions of tourists go to Mexico without mishap and many areas are safe. However, kidnappings are up, and drug trafficking and gang violence continue to be a problem, according to the US State Department.
The Tijuana US Consulate issued a travel advisory that specifically warns that women traveling in Baja must beware of traveling alone, particularly at night, because of a series of incidents where women have been raped and robbed or kidnapped and held while their credit cards were used at ATMs. Aculpulco has badly deteriorated; even beach areas are not safe, since vendors are regularly being killed and tourists on occasion.
Mexico reigns supreme as the best place for Americans to die abroad, according to US State Department which keeps track of such things, with page after page of deaths, many by homicide (though to be fair, Mexico’s also a great place to drown, or die in a car accident). By contrast, 123 Americans died in Mexico compared to three people in Indonesia, also a popular American travel destination. In fact, Mexico wins hands down over all other countries we checked, even compared to our other top 10.
One expert who analyzes violence against women in Mexico believes the rape rate there is worse than India. Carjacking and highway robbery are significant threats to tourists in many parts of the border regions. Additionally, gun battles between drug lords are now a regular hazard in many parts of Mexico for both tourists and natives. In a side note, air pollution is so problematic that it rises to the level of dangerous in some places in Mexico; primarily Mexico City, where in March of this year, the smog was 1.3 times the acceptable limits resulting in millions of cars being ordered off the roads.
If you want to go to Mexico or must go: Mexico is quite big and there are definitely safe areas. Riviera Maya with its beautiful beaches is typically warm and humid. March through May typically is its hottest and most humid period. Palenque is known for its ruins, arts, and crafts. Note that the hottest weather is April through June, and it often rains June through September. Generally, bring light clothing with natural fibers and a raincoat if you travel in the rainier season. The following are also good places to visit: City of Oaxaca (great art), City of Puebla (forts, history), Valle de Bravo (beautiful lakeside community), Santiago de Queretaro (historic, world heritage site), and Tulum (Mayan ruins, snorkeling, beautiful beaches.).
Conclusion: Perhaps you are thinking it would be better to go where a woman can travel freely and safely, if so, please refer to our 10 safest countries for women tourists.
Cover Photo: The Guardian
Description: Mexico protesters in Quintana Roo, “No more femicides”