Mexico: Travel Warnings and Political Uncertainty
This is the time when undergraduate as well as graduate students start to plan ahead for a well deserved sunshine break away from the frosty breezes of Northeast Ohio. In the spirit of sharing information, there has been an uptick of travel advisories for one of the most popular spring break destinations. On February 8, 2012, the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs, issued an updated Travel Warning for U.S citizens about the security situation in Mexico. In the past, resort areas and tourist destinations in Mexico have not generally seen the levels of violence and crime reported in the border region and in areas along major trafficking routes. The Mexican government’s effort to counter this drug-related criminal activity has led to violent confrontations throughout the country. Just this week, cruise passengers taking a guided trail excursion in PuertoVallarta, were robbed. No one was hurt but valuables, passports, and other identification were taken.
These disturbing security warnings have been issued just months before Mexico’s presidential election on July 1, 2012. Josefina Vazquez Mota is the first woman to represent a major party in the Mexican presidential election. Mota has served under current President Calderon as education minister. Her opponents are the former mayor of Mexico City and an author with a 20-point lead in the polls. The Washington Post’s William Booth reports:
“Six years ago, the atmosphere previous to the elections was one of enthusiasm; there were conversations with friends, debates, a combative interest,” said Guadalupe Loaeza, a popular columnist for the Mexican news Daily Reforma. “Now, it is the opposite; there is disappointment, hopelessness, weariness, incredulity, distance, uncertainty.”