Mexican president claims country ‘safer’ than US following death and kidnappings of Americans
The president of Mexico on Monday claimed that his country was safer than the U.S. in response to the criticism he has received over the nation’s security, particularly for tourists.
“Mexico is safer than the United States. There’s no problem with traveling safely around Mexico,” Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said during a news conference.
Obrador’s comments came just one week after four Americans were recovered after they were kidnapped in the northern border state of Tamaulipas just across the Rio Grande from Brownsville, Texas, which resulted in the death of two of them.
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But the Mexican president maintained that Mexico is perfectly safe for Mexicans and Americans and claimed the recent criticism was directed from “anti-Mexico” conservative lawmakers who were looking to stop development in their southern neighbor.
Though data from the World Bank collected in 2020 suggested that Mexico had a murder rate four times that of the U.S.’s, first reported Reuters.
The State Department currently assesses six Mexican states as having Level 4 travel advisory concerns — meaning those areas with “greater likelihood of life-threatening risks”: Colima, Guerrero, Michoacan, Tamaulipas and Zacatecas, all due to risk of high crime and almost all with a high risk of kidnapping.
“Violent crime and gang activity are widespread,” the department warning said of one area. “Most homicides are targeted assassinations against members of criminal organizations.”
Tamaulipas is the state, where the four Americans were abducted after allegedly being mistaken for Haitian smugglers, and holds a tier-four red-flag advisory, which strictly advises Americans not to travel to any region under this classification.
Travel experts have advised Fox News Digital that Mexico is safe to travel to so long as tourists adhere to the travel guidelines issued by the State Department.
Top travel destinations like the Quintana Roo state, which houses places like Cancun and Tulum on the Yucat?n peninsula, are safe for American tourists as the State Department has only issued a yellow flag travel advisory — which means it advises Americans to “Exercise Increased Caution” when traveling there, largely due to kidnappings and theft.
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Other top world destinations like France and the United Kingdom also have tier-two yellow-flag advisories due to concerns relating to terrorism.
Expert on tourist safety in Mexico, Stephanie Farr, founder and CEO of Maya Luxe told Fox News Digital that tourist destinations like Cancun are “generally considered very safe.”
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The one piece of advice she always gives to tourists traveling to Mexico is to avoid engaging “in any type of drug-related activities.”
Farr said regions popular for travelers often “thrive off of tourism.”
“It’s in their best interest to keep the destination safe so that more tourists are coming,” she added.
Fox News’ Peter Aitken contributed to this article.