2013 June 23 Sunday
International Crime Rates: Where Not To Vacation
Check out this Wikipedia page on global high crime cities by murder rate in 2011.
What is interesting about it: 20 Latin American cities have higher murder rates than the worst American city (which in 2011 apparently was New Orleans). Then 8 more Latin American cities (including San Juan Puerto Rico) before Detroit at position 30. The position of San Juan highlights how invisible Puerto Rico is to Americans even though it is a US territory. We hear a great deal about the worst American cities. But San Juan? Nope.
Mexico has 9 cities more dangerous than Detroit. Juarez (147.77 murders per 100,000), Acapulco (127.92 murders per 100,000; change your vacation plans), Torreon (87.75), Chihuahua, Durango, Curiacan, Mazatlan, Tepic, and Veracruz. Hey, I think I'll vacation in New Zealand (0.9) or Australia (1.0) or incredibly safe Polynesia (0.4). Hong Kong (0.2), Singapore (0.3), Japan (0.4), or Iceland (0.3). Check out that Wikipedia page. Use it to plan your vacations. Honduras at 91.6 murders per 100,000 is the worst. Western Europe (around 0.9) is pretty safe. Chinese countries (1 or lower) are safe. It is a shame that the Americas are so dangerous since they are close by. Forget Jamaica (40.9) and US Virgin Islands (39.2). Venezuela (45.1) is even worse. Ecuador (18.2) has less than half the murder rate of Venezuela but still very high. Edward Snowden would be better off in Ecuador.
By Randall Parker at 2013 June 23 08:58 PM
Of course in many cases the tourist destinations in violent countries are well-insulated from the surrounding mayhem. But, first of all, this means that you are paying for a security bubble (even though you may not realize it). And second of all, this means your vacation will be in a more or less generic resort, which is something you could probably experience closer to home without burning so much jet fuel.
If you do decide to travel to a violent country, it would surely pay to do some more in-depth research to see what the nature of the trouble is. If the murder rate is high because of local gang-on-gang violence, that's an entirely different problem than the existence of organized kidnapping rings that target foreigners...
Taking vacations in countires other than Mexico or Puerto Rico is good thinking. However, by the time you return from your vacation another horde of Latin Americans will have arrived in the U.S. looking for work or seeking political asylum, specially middle and upper-class Mexicans, due to the civil war raging in Mexico.
My wife and I have been vacationing in San Juan Puerto Rico since 1994. We stayed at the Hotel Normandie until it was closed. Now we rent a condo on Ave Ashford in Condado. We take the guagua to San Juan Viejo on a regular basis. No we would not ventured into La Perla. In all of the years that we have visited; we have never, repeat, never had a dangerous moment.
We have renter cars from Charlie and driven out on the island to El Yankee, Ponce, etc. We avoid packaged tourist spots. We could stay home to sit by the pool.
We will visit Puerto Rico again.