From The Publisher

Written by Derrick R Grahn
Published in Cabo Social Magazine (Issue #16, Sept - Dec 2010).

I thought safety in Mexico was old news, until I recently received a concerning email from a well-known celebrity. The celeb was being offered an all expenses paid trip to Cabo, plus lucrative compensation to endorse a Cabo brand and product. The celeb was interested but had not been in Cabo in several years and had some reservations regarding safety. Her publicist is my acquaintance and suggested the celeb write me for my take on her concerns. She wrote:

“I’ve mentioned going to Mexico to a few friends and everyone is telling me how dangerous it is. What is your opinion on this? How safe is Cabo?”

After a few emails, the celebrity was convinced that she would be safe and moved forward with planning her trip to Cabo, writing:

“Thank you, you should share your perspective in an article in your next issue.”

I thought, really? Was safety in Cabo that much of a concern to my fellow Americans? Was the fact that I live here perhaps sheltering me from valid concerns of tourists? I sometimes forget that I am living in Cabo all together —it simply feels like home to me. Thus, I mistakenly assume that my American counterpart are as excited about Cabo as I am. But this celebrity's concern opened my eyes.

That day, I posted a message on Facebook and Twitter, stating:

“Yes, Cabo is safe!”

I was taken aback by the feedback I received. My Facebook and email inboxes erupted with replies. Many were in agreement, however skeptics were also abundant, including my very own brother. This alarmed me. I truly had not realized the degree and magnitude of people’s fear towards traveling to Mexico. How could that be? How can people, including my own brother, fear a place that I feel so incredibly safe in?

Thankfully this magazine allows me an opportunity to make my case, in favor of Mexico. I absolutely understand the concerns of my kin. But they, and perhaps you, are hearing just one side of a story. But allow me to share, many of us have been and still are enjoying Cabo, and other safe Mexican destinations too. This issue’s cover model, Audrina Patridge (p.22) is one example. She, along with her family and friends practically live here. And you don’t have to be a celebrity to enjoy Mexico. Maxine Van Slyke is a 71-year-old woman from Bend, Oregon, who has been happily exploring Mexico by bus, ALONE, for the past six years (p. 20). On page 18, I offer an explanation of why this is happening to Mexico —the article illustrates how mainstream media continues to assault Mexico.

If you are skeptical, if you are fearful to come down, take a look at this issue, then book your flight down. I think you will be pleasantly amazed, and you will discover for yourself that Cabo, and much of Mexico are safe, very safe.

As always, your comments are welcomed. Contact Derrick


Yes, Cabo is Safe

Understanding the Media Assault on Mexico.

Written by Derrick R Grahn
Published in Cabo Social Magazine (Issue #16, Sept - Dec 2010).

Before jumping in with how ridiculous the safety in Mexico topic is, let's first discuss “Mexico.” It is the misuse of the word Mexico that has blown this subject way out of proportion. Mexico is a country, and a very large nation at that, spanning nearly 500 million acres. Within Mexico, there are 31 states and within those states are scores of cities and towns. The majority of the world’s mainstream media however, seems to be either insensitive or oblivious to this fact. It is constant and unrelenting, as if every square mile of Mexico is unsafe. If an incident occurs in Mexico, most media outlets do not emphasize the city and state of the episode. Instead, the fear mongers keep it simple, generalizing and typecasting the incidents into one simple word, “Mexico.”

It is not odd for people living in a media-driven society, such as the US, to be concerned about traveling to Mexico, not while in an earshot of mainstream media’s relentless assault on Mexico. If I were still living in the US today, I would probably feel the same anxiety about traveling south of the border. The US media really is that good –its power and money are massive and its influence can move vast majorities of the entire world.

Cabo in Relation
to Real Danger

To understand safety in Cabo, one must first possess geographical knowledge of Mexico. The majority of Mexico’s physical area is actually safe. There are only areas, epicenters if you will, which should be respected as potentially dangerous regions. Knowing where Mexico’s danger zones are, in comparison to Los Cabos is key to understanding how safe Cabo actually is.

The core of Mexico’s violence is drug related and takes place in the city of Juarez (pronounced hWA-rez) in the northern state of Chihuahua. Juarez is actually only two miles from El Paso, Texas –yes in the US, and some 1,800+ miles (by car) away from sunny Los Cabos, at the southernmost tip of Baja. In fact, the US cities of Tucsan, Phoenix and Palm Springs are all far closer to Juarez than Los Cabos is.

Not only is Los Cabos many miles from the core of Mexico’s drug violence, but Los Cabos is, historically-speaking, a very safe group of cities in the equally safe state of Baja California Sur.

Beyond the substantial physical separations between Los Cabos and violent hot spots like Juarez, lies a significant social divide too. The majority of the violence in Juarez and other danger zones near the Mexico-US border are associated with the trafficking of narcotics into the US. Unless you are planning to infiltrate Mexico and take a crack at the drug trade, then it is even more unlikely that you will find yourself in a violent drug related clash.

Should You Visit Cabo?

If you are reading this article here in Cabo, congratulations, you are in paradise. You are probably nodding your head in agreement while sipping a margarita, and looking forward to sharing this article with your skeptical peers that warned you of dangerous Mexico before you came. If you are not here, then you will have to decide that for yourself.

As for me, I have lived here for nearly six years now and have absolutely no plans to leave any time soon. Before Cabo, I enjoyed life in Boca Raton, Chicago, Del Mar, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Oshkosh and beyond, and I can honestly say that I feel just as safe or even more so here in Los Cabos, Mexico –home sweet home.

View Issue #16, Cabo Social Magazine

View Issue #16, Cabo Social Magazine

Download a PDF of these articles.

Download a PDF of these articles.