Tips for a Safe Family Vacation to Mexico - Page 5

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Acapulco, Mexico
Though a major tourist destination in the past, Acapulco is best avoided until the situation improves in Mexico.  (iStockphoto/Thinkstock)

Fear Factor
Mexico’s dangerous locations are those cities and states most affected by drug trafficking and are, not coincidentally, the places with the highest drug-related murder rates. Needless to say, these are the ones to avoid while traveling. Here’s the hot list:

Ciudad Juárez
The deadliest city in Mexico is located in the state of Chihuahua and right across the border from El Paso, Texas. According to a Mexican government tally, Ciudad Juárez experienced 1,206 drug-related killings for the first nine months of 2011.

This violence-riddled Mexican state borders Texas and New Mexico. In the first nine months of 2011, 2,276 drug-related deaths were reported here, making it one key spot to avoid. In fact, a person was nine times more likely to be murdered in Chihuahua in 2011 than in Afghanistan. The capital city of Chihuahua alone saw 402 drug-related deaths.

Formerly a jewel of Mexico’s beach resort destinations, Acapulco has become a haven for drug trafficking and all the problems that accompany it. Located in the dangerous state of Guerrero on the Pacific Coast, Acapulco saw just fewer than 800 drug-related killings during the first nine months of 2011.

This northern city in the state of Coahuila experienced 476 drug-related deaths in the first nine months of 2011, many of them intensely violent and highly sensational.

Located in Mexico’s industrial heartland in the state of Nuevo León, Monterrey is another northern city with a serious drug-cartel problem; in 2011, this city saw 399 drug-related killings in the first nine months.

The capital city of the state of Durango, this metro area saw 390 drug-related killings in the first nine months of 2011.

Tamaulipas and Sinaloa
These states are also considered armed and dangerous, with 1,153 and 1,100 drug-related deaths, respectively, in the first nine months of 2011.

For more information, see the U.S. Department of State’s Mexico guide for up-to-date travel warnings and information.

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