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Living in Puerto Vallarta full-time, we frequently interact with visitors from the US that choose our destination as the place to spend their vacations. Invariably, we’re surprised when they share reactions from their own families and friends back home prior to their trips, about whether their decision to spend time in our country is sound or not.

Indeed, for some years now, Mexico has been the target of many US media sources regarding safety issues throughout the country, some of them well grounded, but most taken either out of context (by focusing on issues taking place in specific parts of the country and generalizing throughout) or out of proportion, when compared to other places in the world, and particularly the United States itself.

To put things in perspective, several US travel experts have written favorable articles online and print, the latest of which is Lonely Planet’s US Travel Editor, Robert Reid. Aside from having authored 24 Lonely Planet guidebooks, Reed has written articles for NY Times, Wall Street Journal, CNN and ESPN.

His article, Are You Safer In Mexico or America? which was posted on the Huffington Post website on May 10. We strongly suggest that anybody concerned about traveling to Mexico and/or safety issues in Mexico should read this article in its entirety. Here are some reasons why we are grateful for his well-documented insights:

“To be clear, violence in Mexico is no joke,” he begins, citing murder rates from the United Nations Office on Drugs & Crime. But he quickly puts things in perspective, removing tourism destinations such as Puerto Vallarta from the equation, and comparing murder rates in Mexico to those in Orlando, “the gateway to Disney World” where murder rates in this tourism destination, in 2010, were higher to those in Cancun or Puerto Vallarta.

Reed's article continues with five basic points that should be taken into account, all of which are well substantiated through appropriate links to information sources.

For the author’s conclusions, you’ll have to read his article, along with the interesting comments it has generated. In the mean time, we remain grateful to Robert Reid for a clear, concise and balanced perspective on the issue. Robert, your next cerveza in Puerto Vallarta is on us!

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