Thursday, February 17, 2011

Crime in the USA - Keeping it in Context

USA News and World Report had an article on Yahoo today that staggered me. I always knew and know that it is safer in Mexico but the statistics today are eye-opening.

Mexico's homicide rate is 11 per 100,000, according to the Attorney General of Mexico. Even with all the drug related murders since 2006, which hover around 30,000. That is a disturbing number.

But, wait, the FBI statistics related in this article show US crime is 429 per 100,000 in 2009. The article is praising the fact that crime is down in the USA since its high of 1991! Hmmm.

There's more. There were 1.3 million violent crimes in 2009 in the USA which includes not only homicides but rapes. Property crimes in 2009 were 3036 per 100,000! Good grief.

The articles includes the 11 most dangerous cities in America. St.Louis being #1 - a very surprising statistic to me. New Orleans and Richmond Va however have the highest murder rates. Richmond Va?

So, all of those that LOVE to ask me "Why I live in Mexico?" and, "Aren't I afraid?", should look in their own back yard.........and lock their doors!


Michael Dickson said...

You know, and I know, that a person's gotta be nuts to live in the United States. Too much violence and crime for me.

Anonymous said...

I noticed this morning that the U.S. State Department just issued a travel warning that includes San Miguel. Appalling. So nice to know that our safety is a priority with the United States of Corporate Greed. Since I live in Houston, Texas, very little frightens me. My son is visiting his beloved SMA this week and next. No doubt, he is safer than I.
Stanley Ruggerio

Babs said...

Well, I goofed. Some of the statistics I quoted skewed the perception. The 429 per 100,000 in the USA contains ALL violent crimes, not just homicides. That means rapes, robberies and murders, I think. So the number versus Mexico is not that high.
I'm saddened to hear the US State Dept issued a travel warning that included San Miguel. There have been two murders here in the last six months - one was an American who had a record in the USA of being a drug dealer and obviously was doing that here; the other was a known pedophile who was stabbed a huge amount of times. One would assume by a victim. I'm actually offended that the US government continues to stick its nose into another countries business.
Now, I'll be quiet about all this and enjoy paradise.

Babs said...

Stanley - I went to the State Dept website and couldn't find the warning that you referred to. I did see an article on Huffington Post that said a new warning had been issued. Could you tell me where you found it so I can read it? It is about the ICE agents, I presume. Sadly the murder of the one agent occurred about 5 - 6 hours from here, driving......

Anonymous said...

The Mexico warning appears on today's Huffington Post under "Travel", about halfway down the right column.
It was issued by the U.S. Consulate in Monterrey. The no-travel areas include Guanajuato and SMA as well as the San Luis Potosi state.
I am a self-confessed conspiracy theorist, tin-foil hat placed firmly in place, so I believe that there is more involved in this alert than the safety of American citizens.

Unknown said...

"I'm actually offended that the US
government continues to stick its nose into another countries business."
Frankly, Scarlett..........

How's that Mexican citizenship appliction coming along?

Dana Jennings
Houston TX

Steve Cotton said...

Crime numbers are always problematic. But I feel safer in Melaque than I would in a lot of American cities. Of course, an American city the size of Melaque would be as safe as -- Melaque. People seem to find fear based on their own preconceptions. Mexico is not perfect. The States are not perfect. And I am going to go to bed.

Babs said...

Hey Dana - Good to hear from you. It's been a while. Glad to hear your views. I'm not trying for Mexican citizenship for several reasons.........but in my heart, I am one.......
Steve, I totally agree with you. I lived in a little community south of Houston for 17 years called Nassau Bay. It's where most of the astronauts lived. There was one murder in 17 years - an ex-husband killed his wife. I've never been one to worry about crime and safety. I have too many other things to worry about - just kidding. said...

I'm so glad you published this. It is just so hard to convince folk of this truth.

Kim said...

Thanks for this post Babs. I'm a 19 year old college student from Houston, Tx , and I just transferred to the Universidad de las Americas in Puebla, Puebla. I travel quite frequently to Puebla, Puebla & everything is always so calm. Everyone always asks me, "But aren't you scared?!" No, frankly going out at night in Houston scares me more than when I'm in Puebla.
Thanks again Babs!

Don Cuevas said...

I've never been comfortable with the argument that statistically, crime is worse in the United States than in Mexico, as if it somehow lessens the crime levels here.

I call it the "Oakland Spin". We have an expat friend who used to live in Oakland, CA, and she often would say that living in the violence plagued city of Oakland, with several shootings every night could permit her to take violence in Mexico in stride (This is not a quote, but what I think she was saying.) But I just can't make the connection. Different places, different crimes. Statistics mean little if you or someone close to you are victims.

Each place, as Steve Cotton wrote, has its crime problems. Still, I much would prefer to live in Michoacán than in Oakland, Newark, Little Rock, etc etc., ad nauseam.

Don Cuevas