There's been a lot of discussion in the traditional media and the blogosphere about Mexico becoming a failed state after a report by the US military on such eventuality. Frankly, as gross as the news on the Mexican drug cartels are, I think it is an exaggeration for two simple reasons:
- Most of the violence in the country is restricted to the 6 border states (Baja California, Sonora, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León & Tamaulipas) plus Sinaloa out of 31 states and a Federal District. Even when the situation in cities such as Tijuana and Ciudad Juárez has become difficult, they don't represent the whole country.
- The growth in the number of violent episodes is mostly due to the fact that the government, instead of ignoring the situation as before, is actually doing something about it and meeting the cartels head on.
I'm not innocent enough to say that everything is going beautifully, but I have a thermometer that most people in the international media don't: family and friends living in the country. I'm sure many of them would among be the first to start leaving if the situation becomes as untenable as these reports claim. Otherwise I'll keep on hoping for the best and agreeing with opinions like this.
In the meantime, tourism seems to be more affected by the international credit crunch than by that kind of news items. Fair, since most tourism attractions are very far away from where these sad events are taking place. As a tourist, I'd be more afraid in Los Angeles or Chicago than Cancún or San Miguel de Allende.