Is Ixtapa Zihuatanejo, Mexico Safe?

We continue to receive inquiries from potential visitors and tourists to Ixtapa Zihuatanejo, even family members – “Is Mexico safe?”   “MEXICO” is a big place!  Since many English speakers cannot pronounce the Indigenous or Spanish names of various Mexican cities, they call everywhere “MEXICO.”

Asking the question, “Is Mexico safe?” is equivalent to asking, “Is the United States safe? Or, “Is Brazil safe?”  There are cities and communities in every country that have high crime rates; there are also cities and communities in every country that do not.

We understand travel concerns about traveling to Mexico, when American media constantly report violence in “MEXICO” – again as if there is violence throughout the entire country.    But, if you are considering traveling to “IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO,” please base your decision on these things:  1) Statistical facts; 2) More familiarity with Mexico’s geography; and 3) Ixtapa Zihuatanejo’s level of customer satisfaction and repeat visits.

1.       Statistical Facts:  Mexico’s murder rate is far less than other Latin American countries and less than in many cities in the USA.

Over the past five years, nearly 48,000 people have been killed in suspected drug-related violence in Mexico (“The Mexico Drug War: Bodies for Billions”,, Posted: January 20, 2012).  But, this violence does not apply to ALL of MEXICO; rather it is concentrated in northern border cities such as Cuidad Juarez, on the Texas border.

A study by The Brookings Institute based on United Nations data (reported by The Miami Herald,, Posted: Wednesday, March 24, 2010), indicates that México is much less violent than many other Latin American countries. Mexico has 11 murders per year per 100,000 inhabitants compared to Brazil that has 22 murders per 100,000 inhabitants –double that in Mexico!  Yet, Brazil is not perceived by the world as being exceptionally violent.  Brazil was awarded the 2014 soccer World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games!

Most striking is the comparison of violence in México to that in some cities in the USA, for example, Washington, D.C. has 31 murders per 100,000 inhabitants and in New Orleans has 74 murders per 100,000 inhabitants. (See graph pictured.)

Obviously, crime exists in Ixtapa Zihuatanejo, like it does every place else in the world and visitors are advised to take normal travel precautions. But, there are very few other places in the world where people can enjoy strolling safely through the downtown streets at night! In fact, marketing research indicates that one of the main reasons that tourists return to Ixtapa Zihuatanejo is their ability to get out and immerse in our community to make friends. (Consumer Focus Group conducted with American repeat visitors, 50+ years old, PBP Marketing & Communications, Ixtapa Zihuatanejo, March 2008)

2.       Mexico’s Geography:  Ixtapa Zihuatanejo is a long way from the high-crime border areas.

The Resident Coordinator of the United Nations Organization of Mexico, Mr. Magdy Martínez Solimán, reports that violent events in Mexico are of a very geographic-specific nature. (As reported in THE NEWS, Friday, October 29, 2010, “Mexico Ready to Face Its Problems.”) He says that crime operates in very specific areas of Mexico.

Ixtapa Zihuatanejo is over 1,000 miles away from the high-crime city of Ciudad Juarez. (See map.)  Most of Mexico, especially the tourist areas, can be travelled safely.  The Mexican government is expecting 2012 to be a good year for tourism. In fact, Mexico is expecting 52 million tourists to visit its five southern states, compared to 22 million foreign visitors to all of Mexico in 2011 (“How Safe is Mexico for Tourist?”, Posted: January 6, 2012).

3.       Customer Satisfaction: Ixtapa Zihuatanejo has a high level of Repeat Visitors and a diverse community of American and Canadian immigrants.

“How many times have you been back?” is the common question posed to our tourists and visitors, who take pride in boasting about the number…”4, 8, 10 times.”  So far, the highest record we’ve encountered is 41 times!  The point is that once tourists and visitors discover Ixtapa Zihuatanejo, they usually come back, again and again.

Visitors marvel at our natural beauty, luxuriate with our service and, because we are small, they get to make friends and interact with our community.  Estimates are that over 600 American and 300 Canadian immigrant families live in the area.  There is a bustling community of “ex-pats.”

Yes, there are many places in the world (not just Mexico) that you should not travel to at this time.  But, if you are considering traveling to “IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO,” please base your decision on the pertinent aspects of our area, not just what you might hear about “Mexico.”

By: William H. Tucker, Publisher and Patricia Ann Talley, MBA, Editor – American immigrants and 15-year residents of the area.

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