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Mexico’s president Andrés Manuel López Obrador claimed Monday that his country is safer than the United States, only one week after two US citizens were killed and two others kidnapped and later rescued in the border city of Matamoros. 

“Mexico is safer than the United States,” López Obrador said at his morning news briefing. “There is no problem in traveling safely in Mexico.”

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President Obrador insists “do not travel” advisories are the product of US conservative media

The president brushed off continued concern over violence within his country. Currently, the U.S. State Department has “do not travel” advisories for six of Mexico’s 32 states plagued by drug cartel violence, and “reconsider travel” warnings for another seven states.

“This is a campaign against Mexico by these conservative politicians in the United States who do not want the transformation of our country to continue,” López Obrador alleges.

“These conservative politicians … dominate the majority of the news media in the United States,” he said. “This violence is not a reality,” he added. “It is pure, vile manipulation.” 

Texas cautions border travelers about entering into Mexico

ABC News reports despite López Obrador’s assurances that Mexico was safe for travel, the FBI confirmed last week that three other women from the small Texas town of Peñitas have been missing in Mexico since late February.

According to NPR, The Texas Department of Public Safety has urged residents to avoid spring break travel to Mexico, warning that drug cartel violence and other crime pose a significant safety threat.

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“We have a duty to inform the public about safety, travel risks and threats,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw in a statement on Friday. “Based on the volatile nature of cartel activity and the violence we are seeing there; we are urging individuals to avoid travel to Mexico at this time.”

In a country with more guns than people, America has long embraced violence

There are about 120 guns for every 100 Americans, according to the Switzerland-based Small Arms Survey. No other nation has more civilian guns than people. And about 44% of US adults live in a household with a gun, and about one-third own one personally, according to a November 2020 Gallup survey.

Though it is not yet April, the US has already surpassed 100 mass shootings in 2023.

America reached the grim number by the first week of March – record time, according to data from the Gun Violence Archive, which defines a mass shooting as one in which at least four people are shot, excluding the shooter.

According to CNN, last year, the US hit 100 mass shootings on March 19, per the GVA, almost two weeks after this year’s date. The previous year, 2021, saw a late March date as well, and from 2018 to 2020, there weren’t 100 mass shootings until May.

Mexico’s nationwide homicide rate is about 28 per 100,000 inhabitants. By comparison, the U.S. homicide rate is lower at barely one-quarter as high, around 7 per 100,000.

Whether organized kidnappings in Mexico or mass shootings is America, homicide via gun violence has only exacerbated conflict between citizens living in either country, and has left a lifetime of loss in the split second it takes to pull a trigger.

Hailing from Charlotte North Carolina, born litterateur Ezekiel J. Walker earned a B.A. in Psychology at Winston Salem State University. Walker later published his first creative nonfiction book and has...

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