If you have been following my columns (and if not, why not?), you know I am embarking on a series of articles, prompted by reader's comments on "Illegal Alien" issue.
Reader's Comment Two: How could you live in a country that is so dangerous?
At first, I thought this individual was referring to United States--I am not being sarcastic. Not until I figured out he was making a commentary on state of criminal affairs in country to which my wife and I had expatriated could I form a cogent reply.
There is violence in Mexico. In addition, and what may surprise some of my critics, is my admission there has been some violence against and kidnappings of some Americans. That is a fact.
I had a reader quote an article by Tracey Eaton, with Dallas Morning News, in hopes, I suppose, of supporting his claim that crime is massively rampant in Mexico. Ms. Eaton does quote some figures and then points out, and quite correctly I might add, though dead include
"…university students, assembly-plant workers, farm hands, businessmen, journalists, money couriers, drug gang henchmen and dozens of police officers. They ALL are thought to be linked to organized crime."
I spoke with Ms. Eaton, who agreed with me that Americans need a great deal of perspective when reading articles like this and coming to such emotively blustering conclusions that each time anyone, whether Mexican or an American expat or tourist, walks out front door, it is time to play "let's dodge bullets" game.
She told me,
"I agree with what you wrote. I lived in Mexico City inthe 1980s and again in 1990s and I know what you mean about perspective. It's not like you walk out your front door and have to dodge bullets."
The issue is one of perspective. Ms. Eaton agreed.
So how much crime is in Mexico? Is criminal element that exists in Mexico killing masses of innocent Americans daily? From hype that has been in Minuteman Project reports and from their supporters, you would certainly think so. Also, from State Department's unfounded "traveler's warnings", you would think you do have to dodge bullets each time you dare take one step over Mexican-American border.
You would think it must be some humdinger of a statistic to warrant State Department's and Minuteman supporters' frightening warnings.
The truth is, when Narco News reporter, Bill Conroy tried investigating this little statistical wonder, here is what he got:
“We don’t have figures to respond to this question at this time,” said Diana Page, assistant press attaché for U.S. Embassy Mexico. “The consular section is working on helping Americans, so getting statistics together has to wait.”
Next, Conroy filed Freedom of Information Act with U.S. State Department. Here was reply from Greg Blackman, a State Department program analyst: