Monday, February 06, 2012

Is Mexico Dangerous?

Photo of the outside where I live
 I've been asked if Mexico is a dangerous place to live. 

My answer is no, not really.

I live in the city of Oaxaca.  My feet are my favorite mode of transportation, and  I go wherever I want.   As I would anywhere in the world, if it's very late, I take a cab home.

I've read about the Oaxaca Drug Cartel, and if I was a member of a drug cartel, I know I'd be living a dangerous life, and it wouldn't matter in what country I was living.

I live at the back of a garden on the top
floor of a bungalow.
Politics here is volatile.  Unfortunately, Oaxacans sometimes settle their differences with guns.  But, it's a rare occurrence.  If I try to get to the root of what happened the answer given is usually, "It's political."  It's against the law for foreigners to get involved in Mexican politics.

Although my neighborhood is safe and quiet, the next neighborhood over was, until this last year, full of drunks.  I was getting a little worried because the drunks started recognizing me as a neighbor, and tried to engage in conversation.

 Their rowdiness, and especially the garbage they were leaving around, was making the people in that colonia angry.  I don't know what the people did, but there are no longer drunks lying on the side of the sidewalk.  What I do know is that the municipal police got involved.

The colonia is now a pleasant place to walk through with little shops selling snacks and groceries, children playing, mothers making tacos to sell, and people like me walking to one of Oaxaca's major shopping malls, Plaza de Valle.   The shopping center is like any other shopping center, modern, clean and offering a wide array of goods.  Of course, the goods offered are not exactly the same as is offered in Canada or the United States.

Some friends of mine have had their pockets picked.  I haven't.  I never carry more than I'm prepared to lose, with the exception of the first of the month, which is when I make a trip to the ATM, and I come straight home.  It's a short walk, in the middle of the day, through my safe neighborhood. 

During the two and a half years I've lived her, one or two foreigners have been murdered.  But, I think, they were involved in land or water disputes, which are also volatile issues.

I have both Mexican and foreign friends, but all my friends are very much like my friends back in Canada, law biding people who are not the type to get into trouble.

I saw a dead guy seconds after he was shot, but that was in the city of Chihuahua.  I'll tell the story soon.  Stay tuned.


Debbie Out Loud said...

I love the pics of your sweet casita. Living in a pretty home is such a pleasure.

Peter + Barbara said...

Hola Oreen

How we envy you!! Nice apartment, nice friends, nice weather, nice hikes, nice food, nice blog.

However, can't you just skip the dead guy? Or place a warning ahead?

Oreen Scott said...

Hi Debbie: Living here has a draw back, if one is looking for privacy. I'm part of the family, and Mexican families are a little more curious (nosy?) than Canadian families. I don't mind.

Sorry Peter and Barbara, I've already posted about the dead guy. Just skip that blog entry. :-)