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Mexican president claims his country "is safer than the United States"

The president's comments were in response to the U.S. State Department's recent renewal of its travel advisory for Mexico, warning travelers not to travel there

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March 14, 2023 8:44am

Updated: March 14, 2023 10:15am

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said on Monday that his country was safer than the United States, days after U.S. officials claimed that his country is not safe for drug cartel violence.

“Mexico is safer than the United States. There is no issue with traveling safely through Mexico. That’s something the U.S. citizens also know, just like our fellow Mexicans that live in the U.S.,” the president said during his daily morning press briefing.

On Friday, the U.S. State Department renewed its travel advisory for Mexico, warning travelers not to travel in Mexico. Only two out of Mexico’s 32 states were not subjected to any kind of travel warning advisory by the U.S. government: Yucatan and Campeche. 

"Violent crime and gang activity are widespread," the State Department warning said, describing one area. "Most homicides are targeted assassinations against members of criminal organizations."

The decision came after four Americans were kidnapped by a drug cartel after crossing the U.S.-Mexico border from Brownsville, Texas. Two of the Americans were found alive in a stash house near Matamoros last week, while the other two were shot dead. 

“U.S. government alerts say that it’s safe to only travel [in the states of] Campeche and Yucatan. If that were the case, so many Americans wouldn’t be coming in to live in Mexico City and the rest of the country. In the past few years is when more Americans have come to live in Mexico. So, what’s happening? Why the paranoia?” López Obrador said when a local reporter asked him about security in Mexico. 

López Obrador said that tourists and Mexicans living in the U.S. were aware of how safe the country was. He said that the recent increase in Americans living in Mexico shows how safe the country is perceived to be. 

The Mexican president said that his country’s bad reputation came from “a campaign against Mexico from conservative U.S. politicians that don’t want this country to keep developing for the good of the Mexican people.”