Sunday, May 18, 2008

Welcome to the Terrordome

This little blurb about a Canadian tourist getting shot in Cabo San Lucas reminded us that it's been a while since we checked in with our amigos over at They didn't appear to have anything to say about the shooting, though prominent play is given to the guy who was eaten by a shark last week, even though the shark was not in any technical, legal, or zoological sense Mexican. But hey, why let facts get in the way of a good horror story?

Or data, for that matter. To substantiate its claim that Mexico is an absolute killing field, MVA now directs readers to no less an authority than the US State Department:

As you will read by clicking on the U.S. Department of State link, “Death of U.S. citizen’s abroad from non-natural causes” there are hundreds of victims. Appallingly, thirty percent of all “non-natural” deaths of U.S. citizens throughout the world occur in Mexico.

[ominous music fades up....]

It's a little less appalling when you consider that Mexico accounts for about 30% of Americans' international travel, but okay, yeah, 669 Americans died "non-natural deaths" in Mexico in the three years between Jan '05 and Dec '07. That's out of 45 million visitors, which means the survival rate for Americans in Mexico is a mere 99.9986% ("Please use the information on this website to assist you in making an educated decision about whether Mexico, in its current state, is a good vacation choice," says MVA. We heartily endorse this suggestion.)

Breaking that State Department's numbers down a little further, though, we see that 58 percent (389) of these "non-natural deaths" were from accidents - car, plane, boat or "other." Eighty-five of them drowned here in this national full of beach resorts. Fifteen died of drug overdoses and 61 Americans - nine percent of the total - committed suicide! Presumably most of them were long-time residents attempting to renew their FM3 visas (about which we'll have more later).

The number of Americans who decided Mexico would be a great place to kill themselves was nearly half the number of those who had that decision made for them. According to the State Dept, a grand total of 126 Americans were murdered in Mexico during those three years - just slightly less than the 45,000 killed north of the border during the same period. So while your chances of not dying here may only be 99.9986%, your chances of not being murdered here are 99.9997%! But then, some people are more risk-adverse than others.

And you know, it has been a few days since I've heard from our pal Josh...

1 comment:

Krellinator said...

Hey, I can't believe it, but we somehow survived our trip to Playa. Good to be back home, though!