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( scottintj )

Comments made by scottintj

Most Americans Still View Mexico Negatively

As an expatriate resident of Tijuana, I am fully aware of the opinions of most Americans regarding Mexico in general and Tijuana in particular. I've lived here for nearly two years in the Playas de Tijuana neighborhood and I can honestly say that I feel much safer here than I did living in Golden Hill. During my five years in Golden Hill there were two shootings on my block and constant vandalism. I now live in a beachfront condominium where the women in my neighborhood feel safe going jogging alone up to one hour after sunset. My biggest frustration living here is the fact that my American friends in San Diego are all too fearful to visit me in my new home, even for a few hours.

Hopefully this will provide some perspective. Tijuana is about the same size as Philadelphia and New Orleans. The crime rate is also about the same as both of those cities. As far as I know, there is no US government travel warning for either of those cities. There are parts of Mexico that are probably too dangerous to visit but the Baja California peninsula is not one of them. About 15% of Mexico's population lives in areas that are currently experiencing high crime rates. The rest of the country is less dangerous than most of the Caribbean islands, including Puerto Rico, a US territory. Mexico's current homicide rate is approximately 23 per 100,000. Admittedly this varies greatly by location. The homicide rate for the island of Puerto Rico is 27 per 100,000 and for Jamaica is 40 per 100,000. Most of the popular tourist destinations in the Carribean are in the high 20's to mid 30's per 100,000. One of the great advantages to living in the border region of San Diego/Tijuana is the fact that both are culturally vibrant, alive cities. People in Tijuana generally understand this. San Diegans are the ones losing out by refusing to learn about their neighbor in person.

December 8, 2012 at 6:09 p.m. ( | suggest removal )