Wednesday, September 1, 2010


I've blogged about this before, but it seems to be a topic on everyone's mind--at least everyone
who is reading the newpapers and thinking it reflects accurately the state of things here in Mexico City.
I wanted to share this article from The Economist on safety in Mexico, which puts things in perspective. From my point of view as a resident, fear is not not part of my daily life, and as a tourist it is highly unlikely to be part of yours.


Anonymous said...

Here here!

I have to confess I sometimes feel I'm adding to the 'Mexico is dangerous' dialogue (from personal conversations more than my blog conversations), but it's not so much that I go over the top with the violence aspect, which is real and conversation worthy, but sometimes fail to point out that the whole country isn't self destructing. Balance. It's easy to forget to add some.

Paul Roberts said...

I have always felt perfectly safe in Mexico in the small city where I have lived for five years.

However, last Monday, I received a phone call from someone who claimed to be a commandante in the Zetas (he asked me if I had heard of them!). The conversation started gently. He told me my address, that his people had been investigating me, that they concluded I was a good, hard working person, and that therefore I needed security.

At this point I decided to pretend not to understand Spanish. He became increasingy angry and threatening and said "Queremos moneeeey". In fact 5000 USD worth of protection. He said if I hung up there was a carload of his people in my street, heavily armed. Even in an increasingly anxious state, I reckoned this was highly unlikely.

In the end I hung up. Fortunately, I quickly talked to friends here who told me that this was now very common and that there was no reason to be worried. It could be that other people are trying to cash in on the Zetas reputation. I also heard that these calls are made by people in jail using a telephone directory.

So I was reassured that I had not been singled out but also concerned that this level of fake extortion - assuming that is what it is - is becoming increasingly common even in a small safe city such as where I live.

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