Feb 092011

Previous posts in this mini-series analyzed the recently released data on drug war deaths for Mexican states, the largest cities, and the communities with the highest death rates per 100,000 population. This post looks into the number and rates of drug war deaths for 25 communities with large numbers of non-Mexican (ex-pat) residents or visitors. Drug war deaths include deaths of drug cartel members, law enforcement personnel, and innocent by-standers.

Drug war death rates of larger communities of particular ex-pat interest were addressed in an earlier blog which focused on municipalities with populations over 750,000. The table (link above) indicates the number drug war related deaths (from December 2006 through December 2010) and the rate per 100,000 population in the 25 municipalities.

In general, these municipalities have death rates below the national average. The rates for Xalapa, La Paz, and Los Cabos are less than one eighth the national average. Those for Guanajuato and San Miguel de Allende are almost as good. Apparently, foreigners in these communities have relatively little to worry about with regard to drug war violence.

Only six of the 25 have death rates above the national average. Mazatlán has the highest drug war death rate, about four times the rate for all of Mexico, but still less than a fourth that of Ciudad Juárez. The rate for Playas de Rosarito is also very high, even higher than that of its northern neighbor Tijuana. Interestingly, its southern neighbor Ensenada has a low rate, about one eighth that Playas de Rosarito.

The drug war death rate for Tepic, Nayarit is over twice the national average. The rates are also relatively high for Cuernavaca and Nuevo Laredo. Actually, the rate for Nuevo Laredo is less than most of the smaller municipalities surrounding it. There is considerable variation among three adjoining municipalities near Lake Chapala: Ixtlahuacan (43.8), Jocotepec (28.5) and Chapala (18.4). All three have rates many times higher than the nearby city of Guadalajara (9.7).

I wonder how much these drug war death rates are affecting or will affect the choices that foreigners make concerning where to live or where to vacation in Mexico?

Previous posts in this mini-series:

Related posts about the geography of drug trafficking and drug cartels in Mexico:

Geo-Mexico: the geography and dynamics of modern Mexico discusses drug trafficking in several chapters. A text box on page 148 looks at trends in the drug trafficking business and efforts to control it. Buy your copy today to have a handy reference guide to all major aspects of Mexico’s geography!

  2 Responses to “Are communities in Mexico which have large numbers of foreigners affected by the war against drugs?”

  1. This is not just about the drug war. It is the kidnappings, extortions, robberies,etc. In January 2011, just a month before your post here, 3 Americans were murdered in San Miguel de Allende. 3 elderly US men with bags over their heads, robbed and murdered. The other guy was in his 20’s. Southern Baja is now becoming an new route for the Cartels. Get real. I want to go somewhere where I can take a nice ride and not worry about fake Federalies, etc, etc, etc. No thanks Mexico.

  2. Unfortunately, collated data, and the use of averages and rates, always masks individual, tragic cases.

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