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Mexico's drug war prompts newspaper list of most violent states vs. safer states

March 23, 2009 |  1:53 pm

View of the Kukulcan pyramid at Chichen Itza, in the Mexican state of Yucatan west of Cancun.

Outposts has posted several items pertaining to Mexico's drug war and danger, or perceived danger, to tourists visiting areas on the Baja California peninsula such as Tijuana, Rosarito Beach, Ensenada, Cabo San Lucas and La Paz.

Clearly, some areas in Mexico warrant more concern than others, and debate on this blog has been varied, with many leery of all of Mexico or critical of its government, and others supportive of and feeling safe in their favorite tourist destinations.

One commenter provided a link to the Mexican newspaper Excelsior, which is compiling drug-related murders for 2009. As of today that total is 1,367. Excelsior also colors the states according to number of murders.

Chihuahua, home to the ground-zero border city of Juarez, leads all states with 548 murders. It's colored purple. Four red states are led by Sinaloa (166), Guerrero (149), Durango (118) and Baja California (99). Most murders in the state of Baja California have occurred in or near Tijuana.

It should be noted that Baja California Sur, which comprises the southern half of the peninsula, is one of many blue states listed as zones with the fewest murders (1). Baja California Sur is home to its capital city of La Paz, Cabo San Lucas, San Jose del Cabo and Todos Santos. All are popular tourist areas -- there are many others -- and at least some have lost business because of a perceived danger related to the narco war.

Two other blue states are Yucatan (0) and Quintana Roo (4), home to Cancun. There are numerous yellow states classified merely as violent zones. 

-- Pete Thomas

Photo: View of the Kukulcan pyramid at Chichen Itza, in the Mexican state of Yucatan west of Cancun. Credit: EPA/Jacito Kanek