The President of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, assured on Monday in his daily press conference that his country is safer than the United States.
AMLO proffered this controversial statement in response to the Texas, Department of Public Safety's warning urging Texans to avoid traveling to Mexico during spring break "and beyond" due to violence throughout the country.
Mexico is safer than the United States. There is no problem to travel safely in Mexico. But this is also known by U.S. citizens and, of course, by our fellow countrymen who are there, they are well-informed.
The President stated that the warning not to travel to his country is "a campaign against Mexico by conservative politicians in the United States who do not want the country to continue transforming for the good of Mexicans":
The U.S. Government alerts state that travel is only allowed to Campeche and Yucatan; if this were the case, there would not be so many Americans traveling to live in Mexico City and throughout the country. In recent years is when more Americans have come to live in Mexico. So what is going on, why this paranoia?
Warnings from the federal and state levels
The warning to avoid traveling to Mexico comes after the kidnapping of four Americans, two of whom were murdered, in the state of Tamaulipas, a crime attributed to the notorious Gulf Cartel. The warning also had to do with the three women who disappeared after crossing the border two weeks ago.
In light of these events, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) urged Texans to avoid traveling to Mexico, citing "drug cartel violence and other criminal activities" that "pose a significant threat to the safety of anyone crossing" into that country. DPS Director Steven McCraw said:
We have a duty to inform the public about security, travel risks and threats. Based on the volatile nature of cartel activity and the violence we are seeing there; we are urging people to avoid traveling to Mexico at this time.
Texas joined the warning issued by the government. Last month, the Department of State (DOS) issued a level 4, "do not travel" warning for many areas of Mexico due to the levels of crime and risk of kidnapping in places such as the states of Guerrero, Colima, Michoacán, Sinaloa, Tamaulipas and Zacatecas.
The DOS issued a level 3 warning advising people to "reconsider travel" to seven other states: Baja California, Chihuahua, Durango, Guanajuato, Jalisco, Morelos and Sonora. The federal warnings extend to popular tourist spots like Cancun or the Riviera Maya, where the Administration urges travelers to "exercise extreme caution."