Safety in Merida
Recently we have received many questions concerning the safety of Merida and the Yucatan region. We felt compelled to bring some of the facts and statistics to light.
The sensational nature of the news outlets has many US residents concerned about traveling to Mexico.
Why the negative image about Mexico's safety? Violence at the border and the war against drug trafficking organizations makes for better news and more attention grabbing headlines. Contrary to the news you may have heard Merida continues to be a great tourist destination and home to ex-pat Americans and Canadians.
According to the 2010 study by the ICESI (acronyms for the Citizen´s institute for insecurity research) Merida is once again the nation's most secure state.
Merida, has a metropolitan area of more than 1- million residents. In 2009 it had less than one murder per month. Compare this to cities in the US with roughly the same population such as San Jose, Calif. Detroit, Mich. San Francisco, Calif. Jacksonville, Fla.
In 2009 there were more than 30 murders per month in the city of San Jose. If you look at the data it is clear that Merida is MUCH SAFER than ANY Major CITY in the US with a population of a million and up.
According to the US census bureau Mexico is by far the #1 international destination for North Americans.
According to studies done by the Mexican government the state of Yucatan has one of the lowest crime rates anywhere in the country. The Yucatan prides itself on this and maintains heavy police and military presence to defer crime.
"The Yucatan Peninsula has not suffered the same level of escalating violence seen in other parts of Mexico"
The 2009 safety report by the Overseas Security Advisory Council
Merida, Yucatan has hosted renounced artist such as Elton John, Sarah Brightman and Placido Domingo. Boasting dozens of museums, art exhibits and galleries; the works of Picasso, Dali and Goya have all been displayed in the museums of the Historical Center.
The American Capital of Culture Initiative named Merida as “America’s Culture Capital” in 2000. Merida was the first city in the Western Hemisphere chosen for this prestigious designation.
This endless barrage of statistics may be helpful to some but they do little to demonstrate the Yucatecan people's warmth and hospitality. Nor do the statistics highlight Merida's rich culture and Spanish language.