Security in Mexico

Given the negative press over the last few years and a drug war in some zones in Mexico, one of the top questions on the minds of prospective client’s is, “Can I be safe while traveling and doing business in Mexico?

There is a huge commitment to addressing the real and perceived issues of security in Mexico. This effort is coming from both sides of the border. There are periodic inspections of inbound passenger vehicles into Mexico. Both Mexican federal police and military perform random checks of vehicles and freight coming into Mexico as well as randomly established security check points in Mexican cities. This show of force within the borders of Mexico reinforces the governments dedicated efforts to curtail drug cartel related violence within the region. Statistics show it has been effective.

Mexico’s previous President, Felipe Calderon, was very committed to minimizing and controlling crime and the perception of crime in Mexico. TACNA’s president along with a small group of other business executives were invited to a lunch meeting with President Calderon while in office. During a question/answer period at the meeting TACNA’s President, Ross Baldwin, posed the issue of crime in Mexico as a leading deterrent to US business and asked the President what he should tell companies coming to Mexico about the government’s stance on the issue. President Calderon, concerned with the issue, gave Mr. Baldwin a detailed response. In his response, President Calderon personally conveyed the message that he understands the issues in and around the violence and was completely committed to resolving the problem. He shared many facts and figures demonstrating that meaningful progress has been made. Some key facts and figures are shown below that put this issue more in perspective:

Mexico Vs US Crime Statistics

Mexico-Crime-vs-US

None of our clients have encountered issues with violence in Mexico. Publicized events in Mexico are very concentrated among warring drug cartels in turf battles for various trade corridors. These issues typically occur in certain well known drug infested neighborhoods and not in the business parks or main travel corridors of Baja California. The area of Baja California had more security issues several years ago, but is relatively quiet today. Areas along the Texas border, such as Ciudad Juarez, continue to experience issues related to this violence. Indeed, many large U.S. cities have higher per capital crime and homicide rates than those experienced in Baja California. Groups such as U.S. Labor Unions, among others, have a vested interest in heightening the image of Mexico as being unsafe and dangerous. From our experience and that of our clients within Baja California, the issues seem to be more sensationalized than reality.

While traveling in Mexico, we advise our clients as follows: Be careful of establishing repetitive travel patterns and predictability. Do not visit areas known to harbor drug users and sellers. Recognize when traveling in any foreign country that you do not have the same rights and privileges you would have in the U.S. Lastly, be aware and mindful of your surroundings. Our President and CEO, an American citizen, routinely and comfortably travels by himself in all major areas of Tijuana without issue.

Mexico Crime Map

Mexico-Crime-MapAs shown in the map above, there are some hotbeds of historical crime in Mexico, but it is clear the concentration is not in Tijuana. As noted earlier, the crime is primarily drug cartel fighting drug cartel. As is also obvious from looking at this map the most direct path for drug traffickers would not be to travel far to the West toward Tijuana, but rather to travel more directly North through Texas. This may be in part the reason that Tijuana experiences somewhat fewer of these issues than do Mexican states directly below Texas.

If you would like to discuss these and other issues, please give us a call at 619-661-1261.