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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Mexican Violence Seeing Dramatic Increase

By : Dan Tursky
Mexico’s drug war conflicts have caused the country to see an immense uprising in violence in the past few years. The increase in violence has brought Mexico up to being the sixth leading country in murders by year, and there have been 35,437 known murders alone since 2006. These murders have topped the scales in terms of what had been previously seen in the country, and the murders since 2006 have included over 1,000 police officers, judges, and prosecutors, 200 soldiers, 58 reporters, and an endless number of innocent civilians.

One of the more recent acts of violence that occurred in Mexico included the death of two U.S. teenagers who were shot dead in one of Mexico’s most dangerous cities, Ciudad Juarez. This city in Mexico right across the Texas border has been the center of a turf war going on between Sinaloa and Juarez drug cartels, which led it to become a city in which there were over 3,000 deaths by murder just last year alone.

It is not unknown to many people that this city is a very dangerous place. One of the teen’s fathers from the recent shootings had actually forbidden his son from ever entering that city because of the ongoing conflicts with the different drug cartels. When Yanar, Carlos Mario Gonzalez Bermudez, and Caesar Yalin Miramontes Jiminez betrayed Yanar’s father’s wish to enter Ciudad Juarez, they were quite obviously expecting to return to the United States alive and well.

They were all American citizens who had simply crossed the border from Texas in order to attend a party that was going on in the city on Friday, February 4th, and stay only into the next day to search for a used car. Yanar decided to return home early on Saturday while Bermudez and Jiminez stayed behind to search for that car.

The next day, Bermudez and Jiminez were both gunned down at the car dealership they were browsing through; more than 60 bullet casings were found at the scene. Arturo Yanar believes that his two friends were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time; there was apparently no motive or lead on any suspects in the shooting.

This occurrence all relates back to the main point- with violence skyrocketing in Mexico with the works of the different drug cartels, it no longer seems safe to be visiting the country.

But, for some reason, a contradiction is continuing to pop up in the country. Ironically, tourism in Mexico from 2009 to 2010 had actually seen a 6.9% increase, even with the drug turf wars getting intensively worse. It has left people with a lot of questions: why would a tourism increase be seen while the state of the country is continuously declining in safety?

This particular answer is unknown, but it is worrisome in the fact that with an increase in the arrival of tourists, there may undoubtedly be an even bigger advance of violence that is yet to arrive in the coming years.

Tourists have to take precautions when traveling to Mexico, and at least they are attempting to keep violence away from themselves by doing so. It is recommended to go through the dangerous cities like Juarez, Tijuana, and Matamoras early in the morning and as quickly as possible while exercising extreme caution. It is advised in general to simply drive through Mexico during daylight hours and through main roads that are often the most secure with military reinforcement.

The main thing to maintain if you are traveling through dangerous parts of Mexico is just your common sense. It is advised not to flaunt your wealth and at all times just make sure to keep your guard up. Some United States citizens may feel like they are, for whatever reason, being targeted for being kidnapped or assaulted by Mexican criminals and the U.S. Embassy in Mexico encourages all U.S. citizens to report that and consider returning to the United States as soon as possible.

Tourists have in recent years been following these precautions and it is a main reason why for the most part tourists are unaffected by the occurring Mexican violence. But the fact remains, Mexico still does not seem like a safe place to be at this time period and if things keep going in the direction that they are, it will soon be a country filled with nothing but violence, drugs, and most of all hate.

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