In an effort to combat the bad rap Mexico seems to get from a voracious news cycle, I wrote a story for the Vancouver Sun (click on the icon to the left to read it) that I hope gives a different perspective, i.e., how a black eye can bloody an entire nation. Having spent several months in Mexico every year since 2010, and having spoken to many, many full- and part-time ex-pats living there, I can assure you the reality on the ground is nowhere near the fantasy most media conjures to scare you into staying home. Yes, there are murders, but they are almost always targeted. Yes, there is crime (just like at home), but the million-plus Canadians who travel to the country every year rarely witness, let alone experience, any of it. I appreciate news about and warnings of crime in my immediate sphere; it reminds me to stay alert and aware when I need to be. But when crime is sensationalized and exploited to grab eyeballs and increase ratings or circulation, hurting a country and its people in the process, I find that unfair and irresponsible.
Usually any time a story about Mexico like this runs in a newspaper or magazine, the Comments section blazes with slams against the country, calling it a corrupt, Third World ghetto at war with itself, and that anyone dumb enough to travel there gets what he deserves. Those comments are generally from people who have never been to Mexico. I was pleasantly surprised to see only a few negative notes, that the response was overwhelmingly positive. Seems not everyone is buying what fear-mongers are selling.
In the editing process, to cut the story down to size, there were a few ragged cuts and edits that rendered some paragraphs and sentences strangers to each other, and lost info that would have lent more interest and context to the piece (IMHO). Que sera. If you’d like, you can read the story in its entirety at this link. As always, I appreciate your comments, questions, insights, etc. Thanks for reading!