Saturday, October 30, 2010

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico as Safe as Denver, CO?

Mexico is roughly three times the size of Texas or 770,000 square miles. Or, about the size of the states of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas combined. Texas is well known so I will use it in the following analogy; If North Texas or the Dallas and the Fort Worth area are having Gang Violence would the Texas government issue warnings to stop visiting South Padre Island that is an 11 hour drive? Remember that Mexico is 3 times larger than Texas so, to be more precise with the distance comparison, if Denver were in chaos would you not feel safe in say, San Diego, CA or Houston, TX?
Better yet, let me put it this way for those of you not familiar with Texas or the Southwest; if we compare the distance between Juarez, the violence ridden border area where 90% of the violence occurs, and Puerto Vallarta in relation to the United States geography then, Puerto Vallarta, which is 774 miles away from Juarez, is actually further from the border area than the following cities are from and their respective frequented vacation spots:

Puerto Vallarta is further from Juarez/El Paso, TX and border areas than these US cities are from their "respective" vacation spots.

New York is 702 miles away from Hilton Head Island
Kansas City to New Orleans: 679 miles
Chicago to Virginia Beach: 709 Miles
Atlanta to Miami: 601 miles
Dallas to South Padre Island:468 miles
St. Louis to Hilton Head Island:694 miles
Albuquerque to Los Angeles: 665 miles
Salt Lake City to San Diego: 632 miles
Denver to San Diego is about 50 miles further: 830 miles

So, if Puerto Vallarta is 774 Miles away from the violent city of Juarez/El Paso, TX where most of the Drug war is being fought then these comparisons of US cities in relation to their resort destinations may help you see how the violence, although serious, is far from our vacation destination and should not alter your plans or deter you from visiting and/or having your wedding in Puerto Vallarta area. As you can see, it is a long way. Violence in major cities that are so far away from the tourist destinations should not stop anyone from visiting and enjoying some beach and sun!
This is another excercise that might help you see how we are a safely distanced from the border area with the drug war.  Did you know that the following US cities are closer to  the City of Juarez on the Arizona Border than Puerto Vallarta?

Denver, CO: 560 miles away
Wichita, Kansas: 656 miles away
Tulsa, Oklahoma: 675 miles away
Dallas, TX. 573 miles away
Pheonix, AZ: 349 miles Away
Houston, TX: 669 miles away
Cities that are closer than 500 miles to EL Paso and Juarez and border area violence like Austin, San Antonio, Tucson, Santa Fe, Albuquerque and more are almost half the distance closer than Puerto Vallarta. Would you not visit any of these cities because of violence in Juarez or El Paso,TX? Do not kid yourself, these drug lords are in those cities just as they are in Mexico. They are there because that is where the buyers are and those are the cities where they distribute their product and they organize other distribution routes that go further north and across to Canada. I am just saying that people who want to vacation should not categorize Puerto Vallarta as dangerous, or any other city that is so far away from the main problem area, simply because it is in the same country.
As a concerned citizen of this area I feel compelled to inform the potential visitors regarding where exactly the violence you hear constantly in the news actually is taking place. Of course we have had crime in our city of approximately 300,000 people (including surrounding areas) yet it is not nearly as bad as say any large city in the US. Would you walk down New Orleans at night, aside from Bourbon Street of course, I bet you would not. I would walk downtown in Puerto Vallarta at any time day or night and feel safe and you would also.

The fact is that Mexico is experiencing something similar to what the United States lived through in the 20´s and 30´s with the Saint Valentine´s Day Massacre in Chicago, as pictured above,  or in the 80´s in Florida in general and Miami in particular . Like this excerpt from an article states-

They called themselves "cocaine cowboys," and in the early 1980s, they gave Miami the highest murder rate in the world.
Daytime gunfights in the middle of the city between Colombian and Cuban drug cartels were routine. The morgue in Miami became so crowded that Dade County leased a refrigerated trailer from Burger King to handle all the bodies.
In the late 1980s and into the 1990s, the drug violence shifted to other cities, including Detroit and Los Angeles, where street gangs fought for control of the crack cocaine market. Gangs made these cities among the most violent in the United States...
-The storyline in Juárez is eerily familiar to Edna Buchanan, a former Miami Herald reporter who covered the police beat during the worst of the cocaine wars. Her coverage of crime in Miami brought her a Pulitzer Prize in 1986."These cocaine cowboys, as they were called in Miami, were ruthless," Buchanan said. "They would go in and shoot anyone they wanted, anywhere. If they were after a man, they would kill the wife, the children, and if the Avon lady rang the doorbell at the same time, they would kill her, too." Excerpt from article by Ramón Bracamontes of El Paso Times.

Our Northern border region and its cities like Monterrey, Reynosa, tijuana, Ciudad Juarez, Torreón and others (Our Miami in the 80´s) are where the drug routes are being disputed and the "Narco War" is being fought daily with deadly violence. Fighting for who will control the United States and Canada billion dollar drug market and the trade routes. People may have avoided Miami in the 80´s but they still went to maybe Daytona or South Padre or Hilton Head and so on. This is the same situation.
Do not throw out the baby with the bath water amigos, Mexico is 1979 miles long from North to South, which is further than from Denver to Miami for example (1717 miles), a beautiful 5 day drive or so. Puerto vallarta is about half way. So, stop by and enjoy this amazing scenery and lovely friendly people.We cannot be held responsible for what some bad people are doing hundreds of miles away but we will make it up to you just the same. Just for making the trip and trusting in us and our city, have a Margarita or cold Corona on "la casa"... Salud!

As you can see, people are out enjoying life here La Martoca in Vallarta and Nayarit so come join us for a cold one!

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