When dismissing the US State Department’s travel advice advising Americans to avoid vacationing in Mexico, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador stated that his country is safer than its neighbour.
The recommendations, which include “do not travel” cautions for many Mexican regions plagued by drug violence, were issued on March 10 in the aftermath of the high-profile kidnapping of four Americans in Matamoros, who were attacked by gunmen suspected to be related to the Gulf cartel.
The incident killed two Americans and a Mexican bystander.
Addressing reporters at the presidential palace here on Monday, the President said: “Mexico is safer than the US,” reports Xinhua news agency.
“There is no problem whatsoever for travelling safely through Mexico,” he added.
According to Lopez Obrador, Mexico is safe, and a rising number of Americans have moved to the nation in recent years.
The advisories are part of “a campaign” against Mexico, mainly by “conservative” US politicians who disagree with Mexico’s current reformist agenda, the President added.
When asked about the security in Mexico, Lopez Obrador said: “US government alerts say that it’s safe to only travel (in the states of) Campeche and Yucatan. If that were the case, so many Americans wouldn’t be coming in to live in Mexico City and the rest of the country.
“In the past few years is when more Americans have come to live in Mexico. So, what’s happening? Why the paranoia?”
The US State Department has issued “do not travel” advisories for six of Mexico’s 32 states, including northeast Tamaulipas state, which includes Matamoros.
It advises Americans to “reconsider travel” to seven Mexican states and to “exercise increased vigilance” in the remaining seventeen.
Mexico is likewise subject to detailed travel advisories in Canada and the United Kingdom.
Parts of Mexico are still plagued by violent crime.
The country has one of the highest homicide rates in the world, and it has been plagued by an epidemic of disappearances, with more than 100,000 Mexicans and migrants still missing.