Mexico President Lopez Obrador has fallen back on a ‘brutal’ nationalist message: Christian Whiton
Former senior adviser under Trump and Bush, Christian Whiton, breaks down the policies of Mexico President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, including the fentanyl crisis and the cartels.
The president of Mexico on Monday claimed that his country was safer than the U.S. in response to the criticism he has received over the nation’s security, particularly for tourists.
“Mexico is safer than the United States. There’s no problem with traveling safely around Mexico,” Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said during a news conference.
Obrador’s comments came just one week after four Americans were recovered after they were kidnapped in the northern border state of Tamaulipas just across the Rio Grande from Brownsville, Texas, which resulted in the death of two of them.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador speaks during a ceremony to commemorate in Mexico City’s main square the Zocalo, Aug. 13, 2021. (AP)
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But the Mexican president maintained that Mexico is perfectly safe for Mexicans and Americans and claimed the recent criticism was directed from “anti-Mexico” conservative lawmakers who were looking to stop development in their southern neighbor.
Though data from the World Bank collected in 2020 suggested that Mexico had a murder rate four times that of the U.S.’s, first reported Reuters.
The State Department currently assesses six Mexican states as having Level 4 travel advisory concerns — meaning those areas with “greater likelihood of life-threatening risks”: Colima, Guerrero, Michoacan, Tamaulipas and Zacatecas, all due to risk of high crime and almost all with a high risk of kidnapping.
“Violent crime and gang activity are widespread,” the department warning said of one area. “Most homicides are targeted assassinations against members of criminal organizations.”
Police officers keep watch at the scene where authorities found the bodies of two of four Americans kidnapped by gunmen, in Matamoros, Mexico March 7, 2023. (REUTERS/Daniel Becerril)
Tamaulipas is the state, where the four Americans were abducted after allegedly being mistaken for Haitian smugglers, and holds a tier-four red-flag advisory, which strictly advises Americans not to travel to any region under this classification.
Travel experts have advised Fox News Digital that Mexico is safe to travel to so long as tourists adhere to the travel guidelines issued by the State Department.
Top travel destinations like the Quintana Roo state, which houses places like Cancun and Tulum on the Yucatán peninsula, are safe for American tourists as the State Department has only issued a yellow flag travel advisory — which means it advises Americans to “Exercise Increased Caution” when traveling there, largely due to kidnappings and theft.
Mexican army soldiers prepare a search mission for four U.S. citizens kidnapped by gunmen in Matamoros, Mexico, Monday, March 6, 2023. (AP Photo)
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Other top world destinations like France and the United Kingdom also have tier-two yellow-flag advisories due to concerns relating to terrorism.
Expert on tourist safety in Mexico, Stephanie Farr, founder and CEO of Maya Luxe told Fox News Digital that tourist destinations like Cancun are “generally considered very safe.”
Bathers enjoy Forum Beach as tourism returns to the city during Holy Week on April 3, 2021 in Cancun, Mexico. (Medios y Media/Getty Images)
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The one piece of advice she always gives to tourists traveling to Mexico is to avoid engaging “in any type of drug-related activities.”
Farr said regions popular for travelers often “thrive off of tourism.”
“It’s in their best interest to keep the destination safe so that more tourists are coming,” she added.
Fox News’ Peter Aitken contributed to this article.
Caitlin McFall is a Reporter at Fox News Digital covering Politics, U.S. and World news.