RV Safety in Mexico
Paul Beddows, Wagon Master
I have always been reluctant to create a page on this issue since it has been way overblown. I do, however, remember my first RV trip into Mexico and how paranoid I was, so I realize this is a real concern and I feel it must be addressed.
First of all, let me say I have now RVed 1/2 a year in Mexico for almost 10 years and have never had, nor seen an incident. I have however over the last few years been within 1 mile of a mass shooting in the US. Those are the Congresswoman shooting in Tucson, Az and the college shooting in Roseburg, Or. I am starting to feel like a magnet. Maybe you should avoid any trips I am wagon master on, LOL.
The only way to travel safe is to don a bullet proof vest and sit on your couch watching the National Geographic channel. If that is your idea of spending your retirement years, go ahead. It is not mine.
Now, I am not going to white wash violence in Mexico. The drug cartels have wreaked havoc on parts of the country. The huge difference between Mexico and the US or Canada is that most violence there is targeted. They are after other cartels & the police, not people in RV's. The Cartels are not stupid. They want to make money. They realize that tourism is Mexico's largest industry and targeting tourists would bring down the full wrath of the government upon them. They do not need that. If you are going down there to involve yourself in drugs or hang around with people that do, sure you are in danger. There is little of the random violence you see in the US or Canada. There is no Islamic terrorism. If you want that, travel to Europe and I am betting you are not afraid to. Maybe you should be.
I am not a conspiracy theorist, but I will tell you there does seem to be one when it comes to reporting violence. A retired couple were murdered in BC a couple of years back and I am betting no Americans heard about it. A couple of French Canadian RVers have also been murdered in Florida, recently. If those incidents happened in Mexico it would be plastered all over the papers. The vast majority of Mexicans will give you the shirt off their back. I have experienced this many times. I can't stop on the aside of the highway without Mexicans stopping to see if I need help. They are honest hard working people despite the propaganda and political rhetoric we hear about them. You will experience this for yourself as we get away from the normal tourist haunts and into the REAL Mexico. That is not say there are not dangerous areas in Mexico, but we do not go to places like Cuidad Juarez.
Here are a couple of things to help you with perspective:
1) A study by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation showed that a higher percentage of Canadians are murdered in Australia based on "per night stay" than in Mexico. If you want danger, go to Jamaica.
2) An American has more chance of being murdered in his own country than in Mexico.
3) If you put Mexico's 2 largest cities (Mexico City & Guadalajara) in the US, they would fall somewhere in the middle of the murder rate stats.
Now to Caravans. Caravans offer another layer of security. Maybe a single RV in a remote area could be a target, but a group is not., especially when it has an escort like ours do. Either the Green Angels or in some instances, the police. We are not going to take our customers into areas that are dangerous. It is bad for business. If we find out part of our route is trouble we will divert. All of our customers tell us they did not know what the fuss was about after they complete a trip. About 1/2 venture back again on their own or in another caravan. You can read some of their opinions HERE.