Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Important Phone Numbers For Puerto Vallarta

If calling from outside Mexico, use the country code +52.
The area code for Nuevo Vallarta & Puerto Vallarta is 322. Most numbers below are area code 322, with exceptions noted.
In Puerto Vallarta, the emergency phone number to reach either the police station or the fire department (like 911 in the US) is 060.

Emergency Phone Numbers:

General Emergency - 060
Police Department: (322) 290-0507 or (322) 225-0000 or (322) 225-0018
Fire Department: (322) 224-7701
Protección Civil Toll free number for Mexico: (800) 004-1300

Red Cross Ambulance: 222-1533
Global Ambulance: 226-1014
Global Ambulance NEW Number 24/7: (322) 209-1123
Private Ambulance: (322) 225-0386
Medicare Ambulance - Land or Air: (322) 222-3355

Hospital and Medical Services
Ameri-Med Hospital: 226-2080
Cornerstone Hospital: 224-9400
San Javier Hospital: 226-1010
Medassist Hospital: 223-0444
C.M.Q. Hospital: 223-1919
I.M.S.S. Hospital: 224-3838
Regional Hospital: 224-4000

Pharmacy (all open 24 hours)
Farmacia Guadalajara - 222-0101
CMQ Hospital - 365 Basilio Badillo - 222-2941, 223-1919, 223-2423

CMQ Hospital - 1749 Ave. Francisco Villa - 226-6500

American Consulate: (322) 222-0069 or 01-333-268-2145
Canadian Consulate: (322) 293-0098
Mexico Immigrations: (322) 224-7653 & (322) 244-7719
(Visas, FMT, FM2, FM3)
United Kingdom Consulate
British Embassy, Rio Usumacinta #30, Col Cuauhtémoc, Mexico City
Tel: 01-55-1670-3200, 01-55-5242-8500

from outside Mexico: 52-55-1-670-3200

Airport and Airlines
Puerto Vallarta Gustavo Diaz Ordaz International Airport - Tel: 221-1325, 221-1380, 221-1298
Puerto Vallarta Airport Immigration - 221-1380, 221-1325

Aeromar - 01-800-237-6627 *

Aerotron - 226-8440, in Guadalajara 52-333-284-2300 *

Aeromexico - 224-2777,  01-800-021-4010 *

Air Canada - 221-1138, 01-800-719-2827, 011-525-785-1867

Alaska - 221-1350, 221-1352, 01-800-252-7522

Alma - 01-800-800-25662

America West - 221-1333, 01-800-235-9292

American Airlines - 221-1799, 01-800-904-6000 *

Continental  - 221-1025, 221-1096, 01-800-900-5000 *

Delta - 221-2524, 01-800-123-4710 *

Frontier - 221-1426, 221-1435

Interjet - 01-800-322-5050

Mexicana -  01-800-801-2010; 01-800-849-1529; 221-1040 *

Northwest - 01-800-900-0800

United Airlines - 01-800-003-0777 *

US Airways - 01-800-428-4322 *

Department Stores/Supermarkets
Coppel - 1955 Francisco Medina Ascencio. Tel: 222-8461, 224-8460
Gutierrez Rizo - South Side/Zona Romantica - 136 Constitucion at Aquiles Serdan street.  Tel: 222-0222, 222-1367

Lans - Central/Downtown - 867 Juarez.  Tel: 226-9100

Lans Caracol - North side/Hotel district - 2216 Blvd. Francisco Medina Ascencio at Plaza Caracol. Tel: 226-0204

La Surtidora del Puente - 108 Insurgentes, 222-2029

Ley - Central - 1150 Avenida Mexico, between Chile and Uruguay streets.  Tel: 223-1978, 223-1863

Mega - North side - Km 6.5 Highway to the Airport.  Tel: 221-0490, 221-0053, 222-7709

Mega Bucerias - Bucerias - 1297 Tepic Avenue.

Office Depot - Hotel zone - 2023 Blvd. Francisco Medina Ascencio.  Tel: 293-2440

Office Max - North side/Hotel zone - 1800 Blvd. Francisco Medina Ascencio.  Tel: 225-4464

Soriana - North Side - 2.5 km. Blvd. Francisco Medina Ascencio, in Plaza Caracol.  Tel: 224-4060

Soriana Playa de Oro - North Side - 2735 Blvd. Francisco Medina Ascencio.  Tel: 221-1585

WalMart - North Side/Hotel zone - 2900 Blvd. Francisco Medina Ascencio.  Tel: 221-0562, 221-0870

Woolworth - 880 Juarez, 222-0001

International Couriers
DHL - Hotel Zone -1046 Ave. Francisco M. Ascencio, Tel: 222-4620, 222-4720 and in the Plaza Marina, Tel: 221-0838. Toll free: 01-800-765-6345
FedEx - Plaza Santa Maria, 9am-3pm and 4pm-7pm - Tel: 225-9800, Toll free: 01-800-900-1100

UPS - 383 Ave. Francisco Villa, 10am-2pm, 4pm-7pm - Tel: 223-3227

Other Important Numbers
Motor Vehicle Dept: 224-8484
Consumer Protection (PROFECO): 225-0000
National Telegraph: 224-7970
Electric Company (CFE): 071
Water Company (SEAPAL): 223-1516
Municipal Services: 223-2500
Tourist Protection: 223-2500
Ministerio Publico: 222-1762
Immigration Office: (322) 221-1380
Environmental Emergency Line: (322) 135-5808
Animal Protection: 221-0078

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Puerto Vallarta and Banderas Bay Area Doctors and Hospitals.

Local Health & Beauty Resources

With the escalating cost of U.S. health care and prescription medications, its good to know that most of the medical technology and procedures available in the United States can be found in Puerto Vallarta at a fraction of the price . . .

Whether you are here for a visit, or here to stay, good health care is important, and here in Puerto Vallarta there are many doctors and medical specialists offering high-quality emergency care, as well as routine medical and surgical procedures, in modern hospitals and clinics using cutting-edge medical technologies.

Since it's no secret that medical procedures, plastic surgery and cosmetic dentistry are less expensive in Puerto Vallarta, the search for "the fountain of youth" and simple good health often leads people here. With lower costs for the latest techniques and technologies available, many vacationers return home looking, and feeling, young and beautiful.

Medical Tourism

Medical Tourism is the new buzzword in the health care industry. People travel to Puerto Vallarta from around the world for numerous reasons including long waits in their home countries, insurance denials and cost. And what better place to recover than in Puerto Vallarta!

Puerto Vallarta and Banderas Bay Area Doctors and Hospitals
(provided by the Canadian Consulate)

NOTE: Although the Canadian Consulate used care in compiling this list, they can not guarantee or otherwise assume responsibility for the professional competence or integrity of the individuals/companies whose names are listed below.

They also wish to point out that many reputable doctors and dentists have chosen not to be included on the list; consequently no negative connotation can be drawn by the absence of names from the list.


Dr. Jaime Arturo Castañeda (House calls & hotel visits)
CMQ Hospital
Basilio Badillo 365
Col. Emiliano Zapata, Puerto Vallarta
Tel: (322) 223-1919 / 223-6011 / 222-5119
Emergencies: 044-322-227-5140
24 hour service / English Spoken

Family and Emergency Clinic
Terra Medica
Calle Yugoslavia No. 149
Col. Versalles,Puerto Vallarta
Tel: (322) 225-4225 / 10 am - 8 pm
Emergencies: 01-800-225-4225
English Spoken

Dr. Antonio Matilla
CMQ Hospital
Basilio Badillo 365
Col. Emiliano Zapata, Puerto Vallarta
Tel: (322) 223-1919
Emergencies: 044-322-294-1631
24 hour service / English Spoken


Medlink Ambulance
Blvd. Francisco Medina Ascencio
Plaza Neptuno Local D-1, Marina Vallarta
Tel: (322) 226-2080
Fax: (322) 226-2060
English Spoken

Cruz Roja (Red Cross)
Río Balsas Y Río Plata, Col. López Mateos
Col. Lopez Mateos,Puerto Vallarta
Tel: (322) 222-1533
Fax: (322) 222-4973


Dra. Angeles Juan Pineda
Revolución No. 110 Conj. Veracruz
Col. Bobadilla, Puerto Vallarta
Tel: (322) 224-3231
Emergencies: 044-322-294-0410
English Spoken


Dr. Leslie Swindle
Amerimed Hospital
Plaza Neptuno, Local D-1, Marina Vallarta
Tel: (322) 226-2080
Fax: (322) 226-2060
Emergencies: 044-322-107-5461
English Spoken

Dr. Adolfo Curiel
Hospital CMQ
Basilio Badillo No. 365
Col. Emiliano Zapata, Puerto Vallarta
Tel: (322) 223-1919
Emergencies: 044-322-779-7738
English Spoken


Dental Center
Dra. Carla Iliana Rangel
Calle Yugoslavia No. 149
Col. Versalles, Puerto Vallarta
Tel: (322) 224-5585 / 225-4225
Emergencies: 044-322-294-0588
English Spoken

PV Smile Spa
Dr. Noel Rivas
Liverpool No. 137, 3rd floor
Zona Hotelera Norte, Puerto Vallarta
Tel/Fax: (322) 293-2696
Emergencies: (322) 109-4568


Dr. Eduardo Cervantes Gutierrez
CMQ Hospital
Basilio Badillo 365
Col. Emiliano Zapata, Puerto Vallarta
Tel/Fax: (322) 223-1919
Emergencies: 044-322-306-0465
English Spoken

Dra. Maritza Tamayo Rodriguez
Lucerna #145
Col. Versalles, Puerto Vallarta
Tel. (322) 224-9898 / 224-9292
Emergencies: 01-333-481-0187


Dr. Humberto Aguirre
Plaza Comercial Puerto Iguana, Local 2
Puerto Vallarta
Tel/Fax: (322) 221-2771
Emergencies: 044-322-294-0727
English Spoken

Dra. Laura Garcia
Jacarandas No. 273
Col. Emiliano Zapata, Puerto Vallarta
Tel: (322) 222-1889
Emergencies: 044-322-779-7739
English Spoken

Dr. Francisco Patiño Briseño
Juarez No. 688 Altos
Colonia Centro, Puerto Vallarta
Tel/Fax: (322) 222-5299
Emergencies: 044-322-292-0687
Only Spanish Spoken


Dr Jaime Arturo Castañeda
CMQ Hospital
Basilio Badillo 365
Col. Emiliano Zapata, Puerto Vallarta
Tel: (322) 223-1919
Emergencies: 044-322-227-5140
English Spoken

Dr. Armando Marin
Cornerstone Hospital
Avda. de los Tules 136
Col. Díaz Ordaz, Puerto Vallarta
Tel/Fax: (322) 224-9400 / 226-3700
Emergencies: 044-322-779-9155
24 hour service / English Spoken


Dr. Javier Aguilar Lopez
Francisco Villa #880
Col. Las Gaviotas, Puerto Vallarta
Tel: (322) 225-6008
Home: (322) 225-6785
Emergencies: (322) 292-1735
Spanish Spoken Only


Dr. Jaime Miramontes Contreras
CMQ Hospital
Basilio Badillo No. 365
Col. Emiliano Zapata, Puerto Vallarta
Tel: (322) 223-0011 / 222-5119
Fax: (322) 223-1919
Emergencies: 044-322-205-7116
English Spoken

Dra. Monica Gomez Rosenzweig
Paraguay No. 1092
Colonia 5 de Diciembre, Puerto Vallarta
Tel: (322) 222-0019
English Spoken


Dr Luis Fernando Villanueva
Dr. Rodolfo Medina
Dr. Jose Manuel Hernandez
Basilio Basillo #365
Col. Emiliano Zapata, Puerto Vallarta
Tel: (322) 223-0878
Fax: (322) 222-3775
Emergencies: (322) 223-1919
English Spoken

OTORHINOLARYNGOLOGIST (Ear, Nose & Throat Doctors)

Dr. Alfonso García
Basilio Badillo 365
Col. Emiliano Zapata, Puerto Vallarta
Tel: (322) 223-1919, 222-5119
Fax: (322) 223-0011
Emergencies: 044-322-120-2480
English Spoken

Dr. Jorge Maciel Bejar
Manuel M. Dieguez No. 358-A
Col. Emiliano Zapata, Puerto Vallarta
Tel/Fax: (322) 223-0444
Emergencies: 044-322-294-9865
English Spoken


Dr. Angel Enrique Batista Garcia
Gorrión No. 221
Colonia Los Sauces, Puerto Vallarta
Tel: (322) 225-8363
Emergencies: 044-322-294-2348
Only Spanish Spoken

Dr. Jaime Rodriguez Ramos
Río Danubio No. 148
Colonia López Mateos, Puerto Vallarta
Tel/Fax: (322) 222-2519
Emergencies: 044-322-294-0597
Only Spanish Spoken

Dr. Antonio Mota
Lucerna #145
Colonia Versalles, Puerto Vallarta
Tel: (322) 224-9898
Fax: (322) 224-9292
Emergencies: 044-322-227-2695
English Spoken

Dra. Inés Cuevas
Juárez No. 638
Colonia Centro, Puerto Vallarta
Tel: (322) 222-3460
Fax: (322) 223-9354
Emergencies: 044-322-205-8722
English Spoken


Dr. Ricardo Rivera Garcia
Clínica Intermedica
Lucerna No. 148
Col. Versalles, Puerto Vallarta
Tel/Fax: (322) 293-1991
Emergencies: 01-331-036-5191
English Spoken

Dr. Alfredo Vazquez Carillo
Plaza Neptuno, Local A-19
Marina Vallarta
Tel: (322) 221-0473 / 209-0038
English Spoken
(2nd office in Cornerstone Hospital)

Clinica Terra Medica
Dr. Pablo Sanchez
Calle Yugoslavia No. 149
Colonia Versalles, Puerto Vallarta
Tel: (322) 225-4225
Fax: (322) 225-8568
English Spoken


Dr. Enrique Silencio Herrera
Rafael Osuna No. 120 Esquina Berlin
Colonia Versalles, Puerto Vallarta
Tel: (322) 225-6262
Emergencies: 044-322-100-1364


Joseph Rehabilitacion Medica S.C.
(at Cornerstone Hospital)
Avenida de Los Tules No. 136
Col. Díaz Ordaz, Puerto Vallarta
Tel/Fax:(322) 224-9400 (Ext. 160) / 293-5726
English Spoken


Dr. Rafael Lujan Rodriguez
CMQ Hospital
Basilio Badillo No. 365
Col. Emiliano Zapata, Puerto Vallarta
Tel: (322) 223-0011 / 222-5119
Fax: (322) 223-1919
Emergencies: 044-322-105-0256
English Spoken

Dr. Vicente Ortiz
Cenzontle No. 102
Col. Aralias, Puerto Vallarta
Tel/Fax: (322) 225-5023
Emergencies: 044-322-224-1989


Centro de Imagenologia & Laboratorios Vallarta
Avda. de los Tules 152
Colonia Gustavo Díaz Ordaz, Puerto Vallarta
Tel: (322) 224-4287 / 293-7321
English Spoken

Dra. Cinthia Lorena Cortes
Basilio Badillo No. 365
Colonia Emiliano Zapata, Puerto Vallarta
Tel: (322) 223-1919
Emergencies: 044-322-108-9139
English Spoken


Dr. Aldo Seimandi Uriarte
Clínica de Rehabilitación Cardiopulmonar y Física (MedicAir)
Avenida Mexico 993
Colonia 5 de Diciembre, Puerto Vallarta
Tel: (322) 222-1596
Fax: (322) 222-1699
Email: medicair@prodigy.net.mx
English Spoken


Dr. Javier Enrique Lomeli Covarrubias
Rafael Osuna No. 133 corner at Berlín
Colonia Versalles, Puerto Vallarta
Tel / Fax: (322) 225-4464
Cell: 044-322-101-6262
Only Spanish Spoken


Dr. Nelson Sanchez Soto
Calle Yugoslavia No. 149
Colonia Versalles, Puerto Vallarta
Tel: (322) 225-4225
Only Spanish Spoken


Tel / Fax: (322) 223-1919 / 223-2423
Basilio Badillo 365
Col. Emiliano Zapata, Puerto Vallarta
Director: Dr. Jorge Villanueva
Administrator: Dra. Celia Medina

Tel: (322) 226-2080
Fax: (322) 226-2060
Plaza Neptuno, Local D-1, Marina Vallarta
Director: Ing. Arturo Sojo Garza Aldape
Administrator: Lic. Jaime Galván

Private Schools in Puerto Valllarta.

Private Schools For Foreigners and Locals In Puerto Vallarta From Kindergarden to Grade 12

This are the locations of 4 popular, private schools in the Puerto Vallarta area.

Please use the below map of these schools to understand their locations. Simply click on the place markers.

View Schools For Foreigners In Puerto Vallarta From Kindergarden to Grade 12 in a larger map

Or for a direct link to the Instituto Anglo Americano, please click below.

View Schools For Foreigners In Puerto Vallarta From Kindergarden to Grade 12 in a larger map

Or for a direct link to the British American Schoo, please click below.

View Schools For Foreigners In Puerto Vallarta From Kindergarden to Grade 12 in a larger map

For a direct link to the American School, pleas click below.

View Schools For Foreigners In Puerto Vallarta From Kindergarden to Grade 12 in a larger map

For a direct link to the Pierre Faure School, please click below.

View Schools For Foreigners In Puerto Vallarta From Kindergarden to Grade 12 in a larger map

Looking For The Best Place To Retire?

Summary: Want to retire in Mexico? Mexico tops International Living's 2008 Retirement Index. Jim Sherrer, real estate expert and expat, shares why Mexico... Puerto Vallarta, in particular, is ones of the best places to retire.

Retire in Mexico - Best Places

During the past 15 years, International Living magazine has calculated its Annual Global Retirement Index; a resource intended to assist retirees and future retirees in evaluating and comparing the world's most popular retirement destinations. It is based on a number of criteria, giving various weights to each, depending on its importance to retirees. Listed below are those criteria considered with their individual weighting:

* Cost of Living—20%
* Health Care—20%
* Special Benefits—20%
* Real Estate—15%
* Entertainment, Recreation, and Culture—10%
* Climate—5%
* Safety and Stability—5%
* Infrastructure—5%

Believe it or not, until this year, Panama had topped the list for the past six years. It still has plenty to offer retirees, however this year, with 30 countries being analyzed and ranked, it fell to fourth position. Ahead of Panama in third position, was Italy with its beautiful cities, its fine weather, and of course, its historic sites. In second position was, of all countries, Ecuador, which moved all the way up from the tenth position last year. Ecuador offers an extremely low cost of living, great weather, beautiful land, a growing economy tied to the US dollar, and a stable political environment. It might be a well kept secret, but Ecuador is becoming a land of opportunity and retirees are taking advantage of it.

Now, for the number one ranked country in the world for retirement; MEXICO! Aside from the fact that Mexico is extremely convenient to the US and Canada, that Mexico's Senior Citizens' Benefits Program offers up to 50% discounts on many services to retirees over the age of 60, that the Mexican government has enacted many new laws encouraging foreign investment, Mexico has become an incredible place to enjoy retirement, offering the quality of life that North Americans are accustomed to with numerous extra benefits.

(As a side note, a few years ago when the Canadian dollar was at its weakest, Canada ranked in the top ten. However as the loonie has strengthened, Canada has slipped well out of the top ten this year. For reference sake only, the US ranked 19th this year!)

The major Mexican inland retirement communities are located in San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, and the Lake Chapala / Ajijic area. For the most part, these inland retirement communities are located in beautiful colonial cities with moderate temperatures year round. Most of the modern amenities and activities are available to retirees in these retirement cities with a very attractive cost of living. Being located inland, these retirees can purchase and own real estate with title as they would in the US or Canada.

For those desiring magnificent ocean views, the Pacific coastline offers many advantages over the Gulf of Mexico coastline; the major one being protection from storms. The entire Yucatan Peninsula area, including the Cancun and Cozumel areas are great for vacations; but due to its exposure to hurricanes, it is not considered by many to be ideal for retirement. On the other hand, the Pacific Ocean coastline seldom sees troublesome storms and offers more than a thousand miles of incredible Pebble Beach like views with a climate similar to that of Hawaii.

Pacific Ocean coastal cities such as Mazatlan, Manzanillo, and Acapulco are somewhat popular for tourists, but have become quite industrialized and commercialized and therefore not really considered as ideal retirement cities.

The most desirable retirement locations from north to south along the Pacific Ocean are La Paz and Todos Santos in Baja, Puerto Vallarta, Ixtapa / Zihuatanejo, and Puerto Escondido.

La Paz and Todos Santos in Baja, Ixtapa / Zihuatanejo, and Puerto Escondido are more exposed to the elements than Puerto Vallarta, which is tucked behind the Sierra Madre Mountains next to Banderas Bay, safely protected from Pacific storms coming out of the south. Also, because Ixtapa / Zihuatanejo is approximately 500 miles south of Vallarta and Puerto Escondido is 300 miles even further south, the "high season", or the time during the year with perfect weather conditions, is reduced from 7-8 months to perhaps 6-7 months. A month extra per year in Paradise is often considered to be substantial to retirees!

Using the above logic, it's no wonder why so many retirees have migrated to Puerto Vallarta. This beautiful tourist resort area has become home to thousands of North Americans that have traveled the world, could afford to live anywhere on the planet, and have chosen Vallarta as their winter, if not full time, retirement destination.

Located at the same latitude as Hawaii, Puerto Vallarta has a perfect climate with an average daily temperature of 73°F from November through May with virtually no chance of rain. With a population of approximately 350,000 inhabitants, Vallarta now has a new and growing infrastructure including roads, water treatment plants and distribution systems, power plants and distribution grid, airport, maritime terminal, hospitals, university, etc.

High speed internet, satellite TV, VOIP telecommunications, and US newspapers and magazines are all available in Vallarta.

Most of the mega-stores found in the US and Canada have come to Vallarta including Sam's Club, Wal-Mart, Costco, Home Depot, Office Depot, Staples, and of course, every fast food chain restaurant imaginable! Vallarta now has seven world class golf courses with three more either in the planning stage or currently under construction. There are hundreds of tennis courts, world class deep sea fishing, and every other activity available that you would expect in a city of this size. There are numerous new cinemas, theaters, and hundreds of fine restaurants.

Due to the explosive growth of Vallarta and the influx of North Americans, it is safe to say that its entire economy is based on tourism and the retirement of North Americans, thus creating thousands of new construction and service related jobs for the locals. It has also created an atmosphere where speaking English has become a prerequisite for a decent paying job. Therefore, most of the younger Vallartenses are now becoming quite fluent in English. The inability to speak Spanish is certainly not an obstacle to retiring in Vallarta! Also, because the economy is based on the North American dollar, safety is of prime concern to the locals. You will not find a safer, more hospitable city of this size anywhere. In fact, this was clearly revealed in a survey taken by Conde Nast magazine, where Puerto Vallarta was ranked the friendliest resort destination in the world.

Now, let's return to our quest for the top retirement haven in the world. If we can accept what the latest surveys, polls, and indices suggest, Mexico is the country and Puerto Vallarta is the city.

If you're a baby boomer, either recently retired or about to retire, you owe it to yourself; make PV your next vacation destination and consider all the qualities it has to offer. You'll definitely be impressed with this glorious Paradise along the Mexican Riviera and will probably agree, Puerto Vallarta is the best place in the world to retire.

How Safe is Mexico?

How Safe is Mexico?
by Anne Johnson

Drug-related violence in cities south of the United States-Mexico border has caused the U.S. State Department to issue a travel warning for Mexico -- but did you know most of Mexico is as safe as ever? The U.S. government is actually advising against visiting very specific places where drug cartels are warring over the billions of dollars made yearly trading illegal substances into the United States, and the efforts by the Mexican government to put an end to the drug traffic. Unfortunately, after hearing "warning" and "Mexico," many Americans perceive the advisory for the country as a whole, which it definitely is not.

There are, of course, caveats about travel in Mexico, just as there are for visits to any foreign city or resort area, but many of these fall under the realm of common sense: Don't stray from the well-known tourist areas, stay alert and don't drink too much, avoid walking alone at night, only take public transportation or drive on the highways during daylight, don't deck yourself out in expensive jewelry and avoid large crowds and demonstrations. Before traveling to Mexico, make sure your cell phone works on GSM or 3G international networks, and memorize the Mexican version of our 911, which is 066.

The Most Dangerous Places In Mexico

Despite the increase in drug-related violence, a closer look at Mexico shows that the country is actually safer than what headlines suggest. As a whole, Mexico's murder rate is surprisingly low: 12 homicides for every 100,000 inhabitants. When compared to Washington, D.C.'s 31 people per 100,000 inhabitants and New Orleans 64, the numbers aren't cause for concern if you know where to avoid.

According to the State Department's warning, these are the places you should take extra caution:

Ciudad Juarez
The "Deadliest City in the World" has seen 130 murders per 100,000 inhabitants. More than 2,600 people were killed in Ciudad Juarez in 2009.

Gomez Palacio, Durango, and Torreon
Each of these cities has seen sharp increases in violence. In late 2009 and early 2010, four visiting U.S. citizens were murdered in Gomez Palacio.

Chihuahua, Sinaloa and Northern Baja California
These areas have seen spikes in the number of robberies, homicides, petty thefts, and carjackings.

Tijuana and Nogales
Along with Ciudad Juarez, these cities have experienced public shootouts during daylight hours in shopping centers and other public venues.

Nuevo Laredo and Matamoros
Criminals have followed and harassed U.S. citizens traveling in their vehicles in these areas and in other border cities such as Tijuana.

Monterrey & Highway Travel
Travelers on highways from Monterrey and other parts of Mexico to the U.S. have been targeted for robbery and violence.
"The news media prefer to report horrible events rather than address the reality; Mexico is, in general, a very safe country -- with the notable and news-making exception of Juarez and other border towns -- and has far less violent crime than any large U.S. city," says Barbara Erickson, one of more than a million Americans who lives safely in Mexico.

According to Erickson, a San Miguel de Allende resident, "one would have a greater chance of being hit by lightning than being shot or kidnapped by a drug load's gang."

Another plus to our relations with those living south of the border is American companies successfully conduct business in Mexico. "I have clients traveling to Mexico regularly to film and to do photo productions and we have never had any problems," says Clare Beresford of World Locations in Hollywood, a company that scouts locations for movies, commercials and photo shoots." World Locations has sent people to Mexico City, Merida, Zihuatenejo, Manzanillo, Puerto Vallarta and Careyes, among many destinations.

Tourism from North America is a significant part of Mexico's economy. In 2008, foreign visitors (22.6 million of them, 80 percent of whom were from the U.S.) spent $13.3 billion in Mexico, making up 13.8 percent of the country's GDP.

But in 2009, Mexican tourism was hammered by the U.S. recession and the swine flu epidemic. Cruise ships briefly canceled trips to the country, and many restaurants and archaeological sites were briefly closed. The revenue from foreign tourism dropped 15 percent to 11.3 billion. This year, tourism is expected to rebound. But 2010 could be another bad year if fear keeps U.S. citizens away.

We've drawn up a list of Mexico's most popular tourist destinations and rated them one to five, one being the highest cause for concern, and five being the safest.


Fear Factor: 1

The State Department listed several cities as not advisable to visit, including Ciudad Juarez, Tijuana, Nogales, Nuevo Laredo, Monterrey and Matamoros. The worst of the bunch of Ciudad Juarez, across the border from El Paso, Texas. The city has been the site of some of the most gruesome murders in an already shocking drug war. In January, 15 teenagers at a party were slain, and in March, three people with connections to the U.S. consulate were murdered in two separate incidents while riding in cars with their children, two of whom were wounded. Over the past ten years, the city has uncovered the bodies of over 400 women whose bodies were dumped in ditches or vacant lots, victims of sexual homicides. Until things get under control, this is not the time to venture over the border for some shopping or pozole.


Fear Factor: 5

Cancun is one of Mexico's most popular beach resorts, which average around four million American visitors per year. Last year a retired Mexican general investigating corruption was assassinated by drug traffickers, but that's been an isolated event. Over-consumption of alcohol by younger tourists is a problem, and there have been rapes. But on the whole, Cancun is extremely safe. "The leading cause of foreign tourist deaths in Cancun is heart attacks, car accidents and accidental drowning," says Canadian writer Marlo-Renay Heresco, a Cancun resident who blogs about her life in Mexico on her website, atravelartist.com. "The key to success when traveling or living abroad is exercising common sense." The Riviera Maya (the Yucatan coast stretching south from Cancun) has little to fear beyond sunburn. The island of Cozumel off the Riviera Maya is a popular, very safe destination for cruise ships, where problems are the occasional purse-snatching or picked pocket.


Fear Factor: 5

Although many people visit Chichen Itza on day-trips from Cancun, Merida is the gateway to comprehensive exploration of Uxmal and other significant Mayan ruins scattered across the state of Yucatan. Merida is a quiet, charming city, and the main ruins have well-organized tours and visitor's centers, as well as guards. In addition to hotels in Merida, the Yucatan has a number of colonial-era haciendas that have been converted into small resorts. Mayan villagers are welcoming. Here again, it's not a good idea to drive on unlighted roads at night, but central Merida's busy colonial-era streets are safe to stroll at night. "Mexico is a large country... deciding not to travel "to Mexico" because of violence is like saying you won't go to New York because of a murder in Denver," says Merida resident Ellen Fields. " Yes, there are places in Mexico where violence is on the rise. Where I live, Merida on the Yucatan Peninsula, and the nearby Mayan Riviera, has not seen this violence and is a very safe place to visit or to live."


Fear Factor: 4.75

No one thinks twice about visiting our nation's capital, and the same should go for Mexico's capital. In 2008, Mexico City had a homicide rate of nine for every 100,000 people, while Washington D.C. had a rate of more than 30 per 100,000 -- over three times higher. Visitors to Mexico City should exercise the same precautions taken in any of the world's big cities; sticking to busy, central areas and remaining aware of one's surroundings. It's very important to take only radio-issued taxis or taxis from official stands, never the "libre" (independent) or Volkswagen cabs, as there have been many instances of robbery and kidnapping. Don't walk at night except short distances on busy streets. This is an exciting city full of museums, art galleries and fabulous restaurants, not to be missed. Most people include a visit nearby to the majestic ruins of Teotihuacan, which are well patrolled and perfectly safe, with a visitor's center and organized guides.


Fear Factor: 5

"I feel as safe here as anywhere I have ever lived and so do my neighbors and friends," says Barbara Erickson, who's lived in San Miguel de Allende a number of years. "San Miguel is as lovely as ever." This arty town is popular with Americans, who stroll its lovely colonial streets, dine out and browse the art galleries without worries. This is true of all of Mexico's stunning colonial cities. In some cases the countryside around them may be iffy (the state of Michoacan, for instance, has had troubles, but its capital, Morelia, is lovely and safe, as is Patzcuaro). Guanajuato, Queretaro, Zacatecas and the rest of the colonial cities are well worth visiting.


Fear Factor: 4.75

Mexico's sophisticated second city is both a colonial gem and a major center for shopping that's regularly combed over by interior decorators from the southwestern U.S. There's also a lively art scene to enjoy, with art galleries and museums. But Guadalajara is a very large city, with the attendant need for caution, and it's best to stick to the central city tourist areas and leafy upscale neighborhoods like the Zona Rosa. A popular side-trip is past fields of blue agave to the town of Tequila, where tequila distilleries can be visited and the wares sampled from such famous brands as Cuervo and Herradura. This is completely safe, but again, don't over-indulge.


Fear Factor: 5

Oaxaca city was the site of a teachers' strike in 2006 that led to some violence and, unfortunately, the shooting of an American freelance journalist. As a result, the city has been tarred as unsafe, although nothing could be farther than the truth. The colonial city center, the nearby ruins at Monte Alban and the surrounding crafts towns like Teotitlan del Valle are well-traveled and very safe. "There is a lot of hysteria in the US about everything from drugs to flu in Mexico, but after five years in Oaxaca with my husband and daughter, I have to say that these issues have not even remotely affected us," said an American expat. Oaxaca has a thriving art scene and one of Mexico's most highly-regarded cuisines. The Oaxaca coast, including beautiful, well-developed Huatulco and the little surfing mecca of Puerto Escondido is very safe, although swimming along the coast must be done with caution (check with your hotel), as some areas have rip-tides.


Fear Factor: 5

Ixtapa is a resort area developed by the Mexican government, and its big resorts are extremely safe. Neighbor Zihuatenejo is a former fishing village that reeks charm and has some upscale hotels and lovely outdoor restaurants. Many Americans live in "Zi" including famous American fashion designer Betsey Johnson. This is another spot where your biggest problem will be sunburn.


Fear Factor: 5

The lovely cobble-stoned hillside fishing village that was "discovered" after the filming of Night of the Iguana has spread at a dizzying rate, so that there are many Vallartas, including the original (still charming) town, the Marina and Nuevo Vallarta. Puerto Vallarta is filled with art galleries, which regularly throw open houses, gourmet restaurants and hotels in every price range. There are also the kinds of bars which encourage patrons to over-indulge, and that's never a good idea. Downtown Puerto Vallarta is safe to stroll, but never late at night after the festivities are over, and it's not a good idea to venture too far off the beaten track. Thousands of Americans live here, and love it. The Costalegre coast, stretching from Puerto Vallarta to Manzanillo in the south, is very safe, as is the newly-named Costa Nayarit (a series of bucolic fishing villages) to the north.


Fear Factor: 4.5

Acapulco in recent years has undergone a major revival. Once Mexico's most fashionable resort, it had gone a bit seedy, but now has regained much of its glamour. Unfortunately, it has recently been touched by drug-related violence, and although most has been on the edges or outside of town, some bodies have been found on a street lined with nightclubs, including the bodies of police officers. It's especially important these days to be alert to your surroundings here, and stay away from nightclubs known to attract the narcotraficantes. That said, the possibilities of being caught in a drug shoot-out are on the extreme end of slim to none.


Fear Factor: 5

Cabo San Lucas, San Jose del Cabo and the "Corridor" of resorts that stretch between them are like a backyard for residents of the southwestern U.S. Thousands of Americans live here on the southern tip of the Baja Peninsula (light years away from Tijuana's troubles) and the artsy little town of Todos Santos 45 minutes up the Pacific coast from Cabo San Lucas. Some visitors complain it's too American in Cabo. The region is very safe, with good highways and busy downtowns. Visitors should stay out of unlighted side streets and stick to the well-traveled tourists areas, where shopping, art galleries and a big choice of restaurants make straying unnecessary. Swimmers must exercise extreme caution -- the waters are treacherous and it's important to know where it's safe to swim and where not to even wade very far.

2010 Mid-Year Report on Drug Violence in Mexico.

By Angelica Duran-Martinez, Gayle Hazard, and Viridiana Rios


Trans-Border Institute
Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies
University of San Diego

About the Report:

This report was prepared for the Justice in Mexico Project (www.justiceinmexico.org) hosted by the Trans-Border Institute at the University of San Diego. Since 2002, this project has been a focal point for research, scholarly interchange, and policy forums to examine the challenges and prospects for the rule of law in Mexico. This project is made possible by the support of The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, The Tinker Foundation, and the Open Society Institute.

This report was prepared as an outgrowth of a recent closed-door round table conference titled Drug Trafficking-Related Violence in Mexico, which was hosted by the Trans-Border Institute at the University of San Diego on July 15, 2010. The authors also made multiple field visits to Chihuahua and Baja California, and conducted interviews with numerous authorities and non-governmental organizations from both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border in an attempt to gain diverse perspectives. In addition to the above mentioned sponsors, this report benefited from research support provided to the individual researchers by their host institutions: Brown University, Harvard University, and the University for Peace in Costa Rica.

Copyright Justice in Mexico Project, August 2010.

Trans-Border Institute (TBI)
University of San Diego
5998 Alcalá Park, San Diego, CA 92110

Executive Summary

• Recent headlines have regularly featured coverage of Mexico’s ongoing drug related
violence, which authorities believe has resulted in 28,000 homicides since President
Felipe Calderón took office in December 2006. The government claims that 90% of these homicides target individuals affiliated with drug trafficking.
• There is a lack of access to reliable information and official statistics on the extent and distribution of this violence. For this reason, over the past four years, the Trans-Border Institute’s Justice in Mexico Project has been regularly monitoring and analyzing available data on drug related violence from various media outlets. The present document updates the Institute’s findings to help document the disturbing patterns of drug related violence that have continued and accelerated over the course of 2010.
• Available media sources suggest Mexico’s drug violence in 2010 is on track to
surpass previous annual levels of violence, which have increased significantly each
year since 2004. There were an estimated 6,587 drug related killings in 2009 in Mexico, an increase of about 20% over the previous year. With 5,775 drug related killings reported by Reforma in mid-year 2010, however, drug violence related deaths in 2010 are on track to exceed any previous year, perhaps even doubling the homicides of the last year.
• While drug related homicides remains highly concentrated in a few states, 2010 saw
a significant spreading of violence to other parts of the country. Levels of drug
related violence increased significantly in Chihuahua (1,665 killings by mid-year 2010 compared to 2,082 total in 2009) and Sinaloa (1,221 killings by mid-year 2010 compared to 767 total in 2009), but also in the states of Tamaulipas, Nuevo León, Guerrero, and the State of Mexico.
• Drug violence also appears to be affecting people more broadly and more publicly
than in the past. While the government estimates that 90% of drug violence impacts
individuals involved in organized crime, in 2010 there has been a worrying tendency to target high-profile victims (including politicians and public officials), drug rehabilitation centers, and private parties. In this sense, Mexico’s drug related violence is becoming a much wider societal phenomenon that engages wider sectors of the society.
• New strategies, more access to data, and better analysis are needed to address
Mexico’s worrying trend toward greater drug related violence. Mexico’s extreme and
dispersed violence represents a new challenge for the state, and therefore requires a rethinking of current strategies. In the meantime, more timely access to information on public security statistics is sorely needed to track and interpret recent violence.


Recent headlines have regularly featured coverage of Mexico’s ongoing drug related violence, which has dramatically increased since 2008. However, one of the great challenges in understanding recent developments in Mexico is the lack of access to reliable information and official statistics on the extent and distribution of this violence. In late July 2010, Mexican authorities released information indicating that there have been over 28,000 drug related homicides since President Felipe Calderón took office in December 2006. However, authorities have not provided regular updates or detailed statistics to corroborate this official tally, leaving
many experts skeptical about the reliability of government claims. Repeated requests for detailed information filed by the Trans-Border Institute and other non-governmental organizations have met with resistance from governmental agencies, which point to Article 16 of the Federal Code of Criminal Procedures as a rationale for restricting access to sensitive information. Such obstacles make it difficult to verify government claims about drug related violence, such as the claim that roughly 90% of these homicide cases target individuals affiliated with drug trafficking. Thus, María Marván Laborde from the country’s national transparency institute, the
Instituto Federal de Acceso a la Información (IFAI), stated recently that “I am convinced that if there was a policy of transparency and access to public safety information, there would be greater confidence from society in this fight against drug trafficking and in the efforts on which this administration has embarked.”

In an effort to track and analyze drug related violence in Mexico, in January 2010 the Trans-Border Institute’s Justice in Mexico Project prepared a comprehensive study on the elevated levels of homicides and execution style murders attributed to drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) in Mexico over the last decade. The results, published as a report entitled Drug Violence in Mexico, Data Analysis from 2001-2009, analyzed official and media efforts to quantify drug violence. Based on these efforts, the report demonstrated that —despite a downward trend for many years— Mexico has experienced unprecedented levels of violence since 2005, with
especially dramatic increases in homicides in 2008 and 2009. The present document is intended to update the findings of that report and to document the disturbing patterns of drug related violence that have continued over the course of 2010. The data presented here comes from both media sources and official reports from local Offices of the General Attorney (PGR). Media reports come from Reforma, a newspaper magazine distributed nationally in Mexico, which established a fairly reliable mechanism to classify a murder as drug related (see TBI 2010).

Official numbers are those reported by INEGI (until 2008), and by local PGR for the following years.

As in the original Drug Violence in Mexico report, a general disclaimer about the data is needed. Although collected from sources genuinely committed to collect the best possible information on drug related violence, the data here presented should be evaluated with caution. Collecting information on homicides in Mexico is a complicated exercise subject to errors. The two main sources of violence data —official statistics and media reports— show similar trends, but differ in absolute numbers. The reasons for such discrepancies derive from the inherent difficulties faced when trying to classify a homicide as “drug related.” Numerically counting “drug related” murders is effectively a subjective exercise, given the lack of a verifiably legitimate official database on murders. PGR and the Ministry of National Defense (SEDENA) have reported figures indicating that the Mexican federal government is currently performing its own effort to measure drug violence, yet these figures are not published regularly and detailed data are not widely available. In the sources used for this report, a homicide is attributed to drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) when some particular homicide protocols and characteristics traditionally used by DTOs are presented in the crime scene, such as high caliber weapons, decapitations, or “narco” messages. Of course, such characteristics are not necessarily limited to DTOs or may be imitated by amateur assassins, thereby calling into question the accuracy of the figures.

Furthermore, not all homicide victims are properly identified, since authorities often fail to fully investigate drug related homicides and DTOs sometimes eliminate all evidence of murders.

Major Trends in Drug related Violence in Mexico

The two most immediately observable trends regarding drug related violence in Mexico are the growth of both the absolute number and rate of drug related violence (controlling for population). According to Reforma’s data, there have been roughly 23,000 drug related killings in Mexico since Calderón took office in 2006, with most of the killings concentrated from 2008 to present. Because authorities report a higher figure —28,000 drug related killings— Reforma’s data are generally considered to be a conservative estimate of the actual total. Because the Mexican government has failed to make its own data accessible, Reforma’s data are the basis of analysis for this report. In 2008, by Reforma’s count, the number of homicides doubled over
those of 2007, increasing from 2,280 to 5,153 in just one year. Using the same measure, there were an estimated 6,587 drug related killings in 2009 in Mexico, an increase of about 20% over the previous year. With 5,775 drug related killings reported by Reforma in mid-year 2010, however, drug violence related deaths in 2010 are on track to exceed any previous year, perhaps even doubling the homicides of the last year.

Drug related homicides in Mexico, January 2008 – June 2010

Recent drug related violence trends are better captured when we compare data in six-month increments, from January through June and from July through December. In the first half of 2008, there were 2,002 drug related killings in Mexico and 3,151 drug related killings over the last half of the year. There were 3,054 drug related deaths during the first half of 2009, and 3,533 drug related deaths during the second half of 2009. The first half of 2010 has seen 5,775 drug related killings, showing a drastic spike in drug related killings in this six month period as
compared to each of the four six month periods of the previous two years. From the last half of 2009 to the last half of 2010 drug related homicides have increased by 63.5%.

Another interesting characteristic of violence in 2010 compared with previous years is that the number of drug related killings started high and moved steadily higher over the course of the year. Drug related killings during 2008 increased gradually over the course of the year, though important spikes were seen, such as the one experienced in the last week of November (week 48). The weekly trend in 2009 was much more stable: it was overall more violent than 2008 and the rate of change from week to week showed relatively little fluctuation, except for two spikes the first in the second week of February (week 7) and the second in December (week 50). The
first half of 2010 started out with one of the bloodiest weeks on record, and saw a more dramatic rate of increase in violence than during any period so far: notwithstanding a significant dip in violence in February, the pace of drug related killings increased from roughly 200 per week to 300 from the first week of 2010 to the first week of July.

Geographic Distribution of Violence

There has been a significant variation in the distribution of violence in Mexico since the outset of the Calderón administration in 2006. Unlike previous years, during the first half of 2010, drug related violence was distributed more equally among a larger number of states, and not just concentrated in certain border and drug production states as had previously been the trend starting in 2008. This dispersion of violence could reflect greater public and media attention to the phenomenon throughout the country.

While DTO violence in 2009 was primarily concentrated in Chihuahua (31%), Sinaloa (12%), Guerrero (10%), and Durango (10%), during the first six months of 2010 the contribution of these states to the overall death rate has decreased (with the exception of Sinaloa from 12% to 19%) because of an increase in violence in other states, such as Tamaulipas, Nuevo León, Guerrero, and Mexico State. The overall number of drug related killings has increased primarily due to the sharp increase in drug related violence in Chihuahua (1,665 killings by mid-year 2010 compared to 2,082 total in 2009) and Sinaloa (1,221 killings by mid-year 2010 compared to 767
total in 2009), and the dispersion of violence among the aforementioned states: Tamaulipas (with an increase from 0.08% to 5.95% of the national total of drug related killings from 2009 to mid-year 2010), Nuevo León (with an increase from 1.09% to 4.77% of the national total of drug related killings from 2009 to mid-year 2010), Guerrero (from 2.99% to 7.23% of the national total of drug related killings from 2009 to mid-year 2010), and Mexico State (from 2.89% to 4.84% of the national total of drug related killings from 2009 to mid-year 2010). The Southern states of Chiapas and Oaxaca –although they still represent a very small proportion of national drug related deaths (0.40 and 0.42 respectively)– have experienced a fourfold increase in the number of killings witnessed in the first half of 2009 compared to the first half of 2010 (from 6 to 23 in Chiapas and from 5 to 24 in Oaxaca).

Chihuahua and Sinaloa accounted for 46% of all drug related deaths during the first half of 2010, a three percent increase compared to the same period in 2009, when these two states represented 43% of all drug related deaths. With Chihuahua’s rate decreasing from 31% to 26.58% of all drug related killings from 2009 to the first half of 2010, it might seem that the level of drug related killings is decreasing in the state. However, the amount of drug related killings in the state of Chihuahua remains on the rise. During the first half of 2009, there were 659 drug related
killings in the state of Chihuahua, with an increase to 972 drug related killings during the second half of the year. In the first half of 2010, there have been 1,665 drug related killings, significantly surpassing the first halves of 2008 and 2009. Similar trends can be seen in the states of Durango (which was responsible for 10% and 637 of the total drug related killings in 2009, decreasing to 8% of the total drug related killings but increasing to 509 victims by the first half of 2010) and
Guerrero (which was responsible for 10% and 638 victims of the total drug related killings in 2009, decreasing to 7% of the total drug related killings but increasing to 453 victims by the first half of 2010).

It must be noted that violence has not increased in all states. When comparing the first half of 2009 and the first half of 2010, states such as Aguascalientes, Guanajuato, Michoacán and Tabasco have experienced decreases in the number of drug related murders. The most striking case is Guanajuato, which had 87 killings from January to June 2009, and just 39 in the same period of 2010; Michoacán decreased from 203 to 164.

Drug related homicides in border and non-border states of Mexico.

                         2008    2009      2008    2009    2010
                        Jan-Jun Jan-Jun  Jan-Jun
Border              2652      2853       944    1250     2553
                          51%       43%     47%     41%      44%

Non-Border      2567       3734    1058    1804     3222
                          49%       57%     53%     59%      56%

Total                 5219     6587     2002     3054     5775
                        100%    100%    100%    100%   100%

Data compiled by Trans-Border Institute research assistants Judith Dávila and Nicole
Ramos from Reforma newspaper weekly tallies.

Number, Proportion and Rate of Drug related Homicides Per State

Absolute Number of Drug- Proportion of Rate Per 100,000 Inhabitants
Related Killings Identified National Total
(by six month increments)

                 Jan08       Jul08     Jan09      Jul09     Jan10    All      Jan10     Jan09     Jan10
                -Jun08   -Dec08    -Jun09   -Dec09   -Jun10   2009   -Jun10   -Jun09   -Jun10

AGS         13 22 18 16 3 0.5% 0.1% 1.58 0.26
BCN       161 443 146 174 178 4.9% 3.1% 4.9 5.62
BCS           0 0 1 0 6 0.0% 0.1% 0.18 1.06
CAM         0 3 2 0 1 0.0% 0.0% 0.25 0.13
COA        45 8 108 43 117 2.3% 2.0% 2.53 2.59
COL          0 3 10 2 21 0.2% 0.4% 1.66 3.49
CHP        14 16 6 24 23 0.5% 0.4% 0.34 0.87
CHH     587 1062 896 1186 1491 31.6% 25.8% 28.66 43.9
DF          69 68 95 78 90 2.6% 1.6% 1.14 1.01
DUR     112 156 343 294 471 9.7% 8.2% 22.7 30.37
GTO       27 34 87 59 39 2.2% 0.7% 1.96 0.77
GRO     134 153 313 325 434 9.7% 7.5% 10.73 13.81
HGO       17 20 15 21 3 0.5% 0.1% 0.62 0.12
JAL         60 85 86 126 205 3.2% 3.5% 1.35 2.92
EDO     144 215 177 177 288 5.4% 5.0% 1.31 1.94
MIC        99 134 203 168 164 5.6% 2.8% 6.31 4.13
MOR      14 12 14 63 85 1.2% 1.5% 0.84 5.07
NAY         2 3 17 5 109 0.3% 1.9% 1.75 11.24
NLE       43 35 29 70 279 1.5% 4.8% 0.81 6.27
OAX      39 10 5 1 24 0.1% 0.4% 0.14 0.67
PUE         3 12 16 10 15 0.4% 0.3% 0.32 0.26
QUE        2 5 5 9 16 0.2% 0.3% 0.29 0.92
ROO      10 8 14 13 29 0.4% 0.5% 1.07 2.2
SLP        14 18 5 2 25 0.1% 0.4% 0.2 1
SIN      247 433 294 473 1127 11.6% 19.5% 11.69 42.48
SON       53 84 45 107 150 2.3% 2.6% 1.79 5.97
TAB         8 12 35 19 20 0.8% 0.3% 1.71 0.97
TAM      55 55 26 23 338 0.7% 5.9% 0.85 10.58
TLA         0 1 0 3 0 0.0% 0.0% 0 0
VER      13 17 29 26 22 0.8% 0.4% 0.49 0.3
YUC       4 13 0 0 0 0.0% 0.0% 0 0
ZAC      13 11 14 16 2 0.5% 0.0% 1.45 0.14

Total 2,002 3,151 3,054 3,533 5,775 100.0% 100.0% 3.08 5.36

Data compiled by Trans-Border Institute research assistants Judith Dávila and Nicole Ramos from Reforma newspaper weekly tallies.

One of the most observable shift from the 2009 findings to the mid-year 2010 findings is that drug related violence is escalating in terms of an overall scale in Mexico, with a slight shift from 2009 to mid-year 2010 in the proportion of drug related deaths between border states to non-border states. In 2009, 43.3% of drug related killings took place in border states, as opposed to 56.69% of drug related killings taking place in non-border states. By mid-year 2010, the number of drug related killings has shifted slightly, with 44.4% of drug related killings taking place in border-states, and 55.25% of drug related killings taking place in non-border states. This small shift can be attributed to the continued large amounts of violence in Chihuahua, in addition to an increase in violence in the border states of Nuevo León, Sonora and Tamaulipas.

Homicide and Drug related Homicide Comparisons

Another way to measure violence is to use official statistics of intended homicide (“homicidio doloso” as classified by INEGI). Using official data does not allow us to differentiate between casualties linked to illegal drug trafficking and those that are products of other non-organized violence. Yet a broad analysis of the data is still useful to complement our overall understanding of homicide trends in Mexico. Homicide rates in Mexico were on a fairly constant decline from the 1950s until 2007. In fact, 2007 was the year of the decade in which the fewest number of
homicides were committed. However, a sharp increase in homicides was seen in 2008, jumping from a rate of 8.2 per 100,000 inhabitants to 13.1 per 100,000.

The rate of drug related homicides presents a similar trend to that of homicides. In 2008, the rate of drug related homicides per 100,000 inhabitants increased from 2.2. to 4.8; from 2008 to 2009 the rate increased by about 50% to 6.1 per 100,000 inhabitants. While we do not have the full year’s estimates for 2010, there is a very high probability that the rate will continue to increase in 2010. During the first six months of 2010, the rate was 5.8 per 100,000 inhabitants –an amount
already higher than the total of 2008 and nearly the same level seen in 2009.

By comparing official homicide rates with drug related killings, we can begin to estimate the proportion of violence that is attributable to the current war on drugs. The proportion of homicides that can be attributed to drug trafficking appears to have grown from 25.7% in 2007, to 36.8% in 2008, and to 42.7% in 2009. This is a staggering shift. While certainly significant problems with both official homicide data and media accounts, the overall trend appears to be a significant reversal of Mexico’s long declining rate of homicide. This is a development that
presents serious concerns for policy makers and the Mexican public at large.


This brief mid-year report was prepared in an effort to provide a preliminary analysis on the levels and trends of drug related violence in Mexico in 2010 for a broad array of audiences. Considering the caveats already offered, available data allow us to identify general tendencies and offer some tentative conclusions about the course of drug related violence in 2010. The most observable trends regarding drug related violence in Mexico were (a) an absolute growth and a relative increase in the number of drug related homicides, (b) increase in the rate of drug related
violence, and (c) a greater dispersion of violence throughout Mexico. The first half of 2010 has emerged with the highest rate of drug related homicides in Mexico to date. With 5,775 drug related killings reported by mid-year 2010, drug violence related deaths in 2010 are on track to exceed any previous year, perhaps even doubling the number of such homicides in 2009.

In relative terms, the proportion of homicides that can be linked to Mexican drug trafficking operations has elevated from 25.7% in 2007, to 36.8% in 2008, and to 42.7% in 2009. Three years ago, only about a quarter of all homicides appeared to be connected to drug trafficking organizations but during the first half of 2010, this proportion grew to the equivalent of more than two-thirds of all officially registered homicides. The first half of this year has also seen the fastest growth rate in drug related violence to date; from the first week of 2010 to the first week
of July, drug related homicides tripled in quantity, increasing from 100 per week to 300 per week. Furthermore, drug related violence was distributed among more Mexican states, and it was not just concentrated in border and drug production states, as had previously been the trend from at least 2008 onward. The overall number of drug related killings has increased primarily due to the sharp increase in drug related violence in Chihuahua and Sinaloa, and the dispersion of violence to Tamaulipas, Nuevo León, Guerrero, and Mexico State. Other notable increases were seen in the southern states of Chiapas and Oaxaca; although they still represent a very small
proportion of national drug related deaths.

Along with these dramatic increases in drug related violence, there has been a worrying tendency to target high profile victims, drug rehabilitation centers, and private parties. The murder of the leading PRI candidate for governor in the border state of Tamaulipas, Rodolfo Torre, that took place on June 28, 2010, and the attack against the Minister of Public Security in Michoacán, Minerva Bautista, on April 24, 2010, both show that high profile politicians and governmental officials are being singled out by Mexican drug traffickers. The killings in drug rehabilitation centers, such as the 19 killed in the Faith and Life Center in Chihuahua on June 11,
2010, in addition to the shootings at private parties, such as the 14 teens shot and killed at a birthday party in Juárez on January 31, 2010, demonstrate that the drug traffickers have spread their violence into new realms of the public sector. Although it is difficult to interpret these acts as signs of a growing trend, they illustrate the tremendous variety of violence Mexico is experiencing, and the diversification of strategies and perhaps a change in the scale of organized crime groups. Some acts of violence may indeed suggest reactions or attacks against the actions of the state; others reflect confrontations between cartels for power or markets. While still others, like the Juárez killings, may be attributed to either confrontations between organizations or even some dynamics of social cleansing.
Efforts to stop the violence in Mexico need to adapt to the changes that have taken place since President Calderón launched the military-led offensive against DTOs. Drug related violence is no longer limited to intra-DTO power struggles. Violence is now becoming a much wider societal phenomenon that engages wider sectors of the society (women and youth reflect a growing number of drug related victims) and new actors such as street gangs and street level drug dealers seem to be gaining a more prominent place. This extreme and dispersed violence represents a different challenge for the state and thus requires the restructuring and rethinking of the strategy in light of these constantly changing dynamics. In the meantime, much better data and analysis is sorely needed to document and interpret recent violence, which means that Mexican authorities should make a greater effort to provide greater and timely access to information on public security statistics related to drug related violence.

About the Authors:

Angelica Duran-Martinez is a doctoral candidate in Political Science at Brown University. She holds a B.A. in Political Science from Universidad Nacional de Colombia and completed an M.A. in Latin American and Caribbean Studies at New York University thanks to a Fulbright Scholarship. She has been a Fulbright Fellow at the United Nations Secretariat in New York and a consultant for the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, the UN Development Program, and Global Integrity. In Colombia she worked for the Foundation Ideas for Peace (Ideas para la Paz) and participated in several research projects about armed conflict at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia. Her dissertation research compares the relation between drug trafficking and violence
in Colombia and Mexico and is funded by the USIP Randolph Jennings Peace Scholarship and the Social Science Research Council.

Gayle Hazard is a Masters degree student at the University for Peace in Costa Rica and a visiting scholar at the Trans-Border Institute. After completing her undergraduate degree in Spanish Literature and International Relations at the University of San Diego in 2007, she relocated to Chile to volunteer her time teaching English through the United Nations Development Program, then relocated again to Costa Rica. In the nearly three years she spent in Costa Rica, she taught home school to a family of three, worked as an intern in the outdoor adventure school Outward Bound, and completed her coursework for her Masters degree in Media, Peace and Conflict Studies at the UN-Mandated University for Peace. After completing her classes at the University for Peace, she took a month-long independent research trip from Costa Rica to San Diego. Ms. Hazard is a third generation San Diego native with a passion for traveling, particularly in Latin America.

Viridiana Rios is a doctoral candidate in Government at Harvard University and a doctoral fellow in Inequality and Criminal Justice at the Kennedy School. She studies drug trafficking, corruption and organized crime structure in Mexico. Her dissertation uses formal modeling and journalistic accounts to show how changes in the internal structure of drug organization and in the extension of illegal-drug markets are the main cause behind recent spikes in drug related violence in Mexico. She obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science at the top of her class in the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM) in Mexico City. After graduating, she worked for SEDESOL, USAID, the World Bank Mexico, and as intern in the United Nations. She is currently a visiting scholar at the Trans-Border Institute and a 2010-11 Fellow at the Center for Mexican U.S.-Studies at the University of California-San Diego.

Mexico’s Economic Outlook: Challenges and Opportunities

Remarks by

Manuel Sanchez

Deputy Governor

The Bank of Mexico at the Conference,

“Latin America 2010: Economic, Business and Trade Forecast”

Center for Hemispheric Policy

University of Miami

February 5, 2010

I would like to thank the Center for Hemispheric Policy of the University of Miami for the invitation to speak at this conference addressing the growth and trade prospects for Latin America.
In my talk, I will focus on the short‐ and medium‐term outlook for the Mexican economy. My central message will be the following: the deep recession suffered by Mexico during the past two years was mainly due to external factors, but its impact was somewhat mitigated by the soundness of the country’s macroeconomic fundamentals.
Although the world and Mexico have recently started to show signs of an economic recovery, sustainable growth will require prudent economic management.
To elaborate on these issues, I will divide my presentation into three parts.
First, I will analyze how the global financial crisis affected Mexico and how this recession was different from previous ones.
Second, I will discuss the economic outlook for Mexico in the international context. Finally, I will comment on some policy challenges for the global economy and Mexico.

The Impact of the Global Crisis in Mexico

During the last two years, Mexico experienced a harsh economic downturn.
Official data suggest that the economic contraction started during the second quarter of 2008 and probably ended in the same quarter of 2009. During this five‐quarter period, per‐capita GDP plummeted by approximately 10%, a fall similar to the one observed in the first half of 1995. In modern history, the depth of the recent recession has been clearly surpassed only during the Great Depression, when the country’s per‐capita GDP collapsed 26% between 1928 and 1932. The loss of per‐capita income and employment in the recent recessionary period has significantly damaged the well being of many Mexicans.

By far, the most distinct feature of this modern contraction relative to others in the post‐war period was that it comprised two adverse external shocks that fed back into each other and led to a dangerous deterioration of economic and financial conditions. As was the case for other emerging economies, Mexico was
affected by the global crisis through the financial sector in the form of
substantial market volatility and a generalized fall in asset prices. However, the
Mexican economy was most deeply disturbed through the real sector, as seen in the contraction of international flows of goods and services, especially to and from the United States, Mexico’s main trading partner.

As we know, the widespread increase in risk aversion triggered by the problems derived from the previous lending boom in the housing and real estate sectors of the United States caused substantial financial turbulence worldwide. In particular, the Lehman Brothers collapse in September 2008 sparked major volatility which started falling only seven months later.

Massive monetary injections in several countries and an official bailout program for troubled financial institutions in the United States allowed international
financial markets a gradual return to normal conditions. To cushion the effects
of the financial blow, Mexican authorities implemented several actions,
especially geared to providing liquidity in the foreign exchange and credit
markets. Given the relative resilience of the Mexican financial system, most
measures were relatively modest and designed as temporary, and thus have
already ended or will soon end.1
For a review of the measures taken by Mexico during the crisis, see Manuel Sanchez, “Impacto de la
Crisis Internacional en México, Respuesta de Política y Perspectivas” speech at the Reserve Bank of El
Salvador, November 2009: http://www.bcr.gob.sv/uploaded/content/category/2106364632.pdf.

Moreover, the real economic disturbance, which in April 2009 was aggravated by the eruption of swine flu epidemics, had a deeper and more lasting effect on Mexico. Its manifestation included a contraction of tourism in Mexican destinations and the worsening of an already declining trend in worker remittances from abroad.

However, the most important driving force of the economic slump was the sharp fall in the demand for Mexico’s exports, especially manufacturing goods oriented to the United States, which during the last ten years accounted for over 80% of the country’s total non‐oil exports.
According to the national income accounts, Mexico’s total exports of goods and services in the second quarter of 2009 were 24% lower than those at their peak level six quarters earlier.

It is worth noting that this last recession in Mexico exhibited substantial differences from previous ones. Past crises were typically linked to major macroeconomic and financial disequilibria, in the form of high fiscal deficits, large current account imbalances and fragile financial intermediaries. Given a
predetermined exchange rate system, these weaknesses eventually led to a
speculative attack on the currency. The sequence of events was a significant
burst in inflation and interest rates, a sudden drop in investment and output, major job losses, and a dramatic fall in real wages. Restoration of
macroeconomic equilibrium usually required the implementation of tight fiscal
and monetary policies.

In contrast, the recent recession occurred in the presence of sound
macroeconomic fundamentals, including a solvent fiscal position, a floating exchange rate system, and an independent central bank committed to price
stability. In addition, the construction of a strong regulatory and supervisory
framework together with openness to foreign investment yielded a solid
banking system. The development of long‐term loan products at fixed nominal
interest rates offered by banks reduced the vulnerability of consumers and
firms to sudden changes in financial conditions. These elements proved
valuable in ameliorating the effects of the external shock on domestic spending.

Of particular note, exports of goods and services fell dramatically whereas they had either remained relatively stable or boomed in previous recessions.
However, private consumption was more resilient than it was in the mid‐1990s crisis, and the fall in private investment was lower than that in the 1982 and 1995 recessions. Additionally, public expenditures grew at higher rates than in any previous contraction, thus exerting some counter-cyclical effect on output.

The main lesson to be drawn from Mexico’s experience with crises is that there are no substitutes for good and well‐coordinated economic policies. Prudent macroeconomic measures together with a well‐capitalized financial system and flexible exchange rates are suitable elements to preserve the confidence of market participants and facilitate an orderly adjustment to external disturbances.

Mexico´s Economic Outlook

Let me now turn to the economic outlook for Mexico. Given this country’s openness to foreign trade and investment, its prospects naturally depend on the expected evolution of the world economy and, in particular, that of the United States. So allow me to first briefly comment on the international scenario. Most forecasters share the view that the global economy will perform better in 2010 and 2011 than in the previous two years. On the one hand, GDP and international trade are expected to increase, in clear contrast with their corresponding contractions in 2009. A characteristic feature of this outlook is that recovery will exhibit a more gradual pace than in previous expansions.

For example, the IMF forecasts that global GDP will grow 3.9% in 2010 and 4.4% on average from 2011 to 2014. The latter figure is half a percentage point lower than that observed in the 2004‐2007 period. Additionally, emerging market economies are expected to continue to grow faster than developed countries. For the U.S. economy, the IMF estimates 2.7% growth in 2010 and 2.4% in 2011. At the same time, world inflation is estimated to remain fairly subdued in the near future.2
For the IMF forecasts, see IMF, World Economic Outlook, October 2009
:http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/weo/2009/02/index.htm) and World Economic Outlook Update,
January 2010: http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/weo/2010/update/01/index.htm.

Prospects for better world economic performance are based on different factors, among which recent data stand out. Since the second quarter of 2009, the global economy has shown increasingly clearer signs of a rebound. While growth has been widespread, the recovery has been more vigorous in specific emerging economies, especially China, India and Brazil. In the case of Latin America, during the second half of 2009 the region experienced a mild recuperation supported by an increase in government spending, lower interest rates, and an improvement in external demand.

In the United States, favorable developments included a 5.7% annualized quarterly increase in GDP in the fourth quarter of 2009, the fastest pace in six years and the second consecutive quarter of growth after four quarters of decline. Moreover, during the fourth quarter, liquidation of inventories by firms slowed and their investment in equipment and software started to show signs of recovery. Similarly, real estate indicators continued an upturn observed in the previous quarter.

Given substantial excess capacity, global inflationary pressures have remained relatively contained. In the advanced economies, inflation turned positive during the last quarter of 2009 after being negative for several months.
In the United States, inflation ticked up recently mainly as a result of higher energy prices. In developing countries, although consumer inflation also took a
downward path, it has generally remained positive, with some exceptions such as China and Chile. In general, the monetary stance in most countries is expected to continue to be accommodative for some time, although some central banks have already started their tightening cycles.

In the financial system, the risk of a widespread collapse of international
markets has significantly narrowed. While initially the main source of
improvement was constituted by the measures implemented by the authorities in various countries, the more recent upturn in the financial system seems to reflect a positive feedback loop between the growth prospects of the real economy and
financial conditions.

However, certain factors suggest that the economic recovery in the United States will be sluggish. One is that consumers and firms will likely continue de-leveraging their financial positions, which may imply higher saving rates than pre‐crisis levels. Another is that banks will continue cleansing their balance sheets and seeking to replenish capital before resuming lending.
Finally, although some recent housing‐sector indicators such as construction
orders and sales point toward further progress, full adjustment of inventories may still take time. These elements may, in turn, contribute to an explanation of why employment has been responding somewhat more slowly than in previous expansions.

Furthermore, low interest rates in the United States and in other advanced countries, together with the expectation that they will remain low for an extended period as well as a weak dollar, have led to the proliferation of the “carry-trade.” This type of trade consists in investors seeking higher returns in risky assets by borrowing cheaply in the money markets of advanced countries,
seizing opportunities from a lax monetary stance. These transactions have resulted in a notable increase of capital flows into emerging market economies, a trend which implies a possible source of future financial instability.

In particular, as the Fed and other major central banks begin to tighten their monetary policies and the dollar starts to appreciate, risky positions in a number of assets should begin to unwind, affecting the financial markets and reversing capital flows into developing countries. In this event, volatility could return to international financial markets anticipated.

How Will Mexico Fare in the Future?

The consensus forecast is for a gradual economic recovery, proceeding hand in hand with the improvement of the world economy. Specifically, the Bank of Mexico estimates that, after a contraction of a little less than 7% in 2009, the Mexican economy will grow between 3.2% and 4.2% in 2010 and 2011.3
Banco de México, Informe sobre la Inflación Octubre – Diciembre 2009 y Programa Monetario para
2010, January 2010: http://www.banxico.org.mx/publicaciones‐y‐discursos/publicaciones/informes‐

The main engine of growth will be the continued greater dynamism of the U. S.
economy, particularly its industrial sector.

As is well known, the correlation between the industrial outputs of these two countries exceeds 0.9, reflecting the high share of manufacturing exports going to the United States out of Mexico’s total exports.

As is the case for other countries, the Mexican economy has already begun to show signs of resurgence. After five consecutive quarters of contraction, third‐quarter GDP posted a 2.9% seasonally adjusted, non‐annualized change.
Additionally, some economic indicators for the fourth quarter of last year also support the view that growth has continued. For example, last November, the Economic Activity Indicator (IGAE) showed a monthly seasonally adjusted rise of 1.5%, which corresponds to a third consecutive month of positive change. Perhaps the most encouraging factor is the reversal of the external‐sector troubles which, as I mentioned, were the main source of the economic slump.

In particular, annual dollar growth rates of non‐oil and auto‐industry exports have
recently followed a rising trend, reaching more than 15% and 31%, respectively, in December 2009.

Although domestic demand indicators still show a mixed picture, with reviving consumption and stagnant investment, these variables may respond with a lag to the external impetus. This hypothesis seems to be confirmed by the positive recent trend of leading indicators such as the Purchasing Managers’ and Consumer Confidence Indexes, and the reduction in the unemployment rate by the end of last year.

Notwithstanding the latest return of business to market financing, the revival of bank lending, especially consumer credit, will probably take time.

Economic Policy Challenges

The sustained growth scenario I have just described depends on the appropriate management of crucial challenges faced by advanced economies, which are related to the timely reversal of the extraordinary monetary and fiscal actions that were undertaken to counter the global crisis. The resulting expansionary stance is reflected in the unprecedented enlargement of the major central banks’ balance sheets and the high fiscal deficits in many developed countries. Adequate exit strategies need to be planned and properly implemented.4
For a discussion of possible principles guiding exit strategies, see IMF, Global Economic Prospects and
Principles for Policy Exit, Meetings of G‐20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors, November 6–
7, 2009: http://www.imf.org/external/np/g20/pdf/110709.pdf.

These policies are widely expected to be maintained until growth consolidates and gains more momentum. There is concern that if the various stimulus measures are retired too early or too rapidly, this withdrawal might adversely affect consumers and firms that are still too leveraged. In addition, many financial institutions may still be too fragile to handle liquidity or solvency problems on their own. In fact, in accordance with this preoccupation, the U.S. government announced last November a new package of fiscal stimulus to support growth and employment.

Unfortunately, maintenance of these measures over the medium term is clearly unsustainable.

High fiscal deficits may exert upward pressure on interest rates, crowding out
private spending and hampering economic activity. This may also limit the access of emerging economies to international capital markets. On the other hand, if maintained for too long, highly expansionary monetary policies may cause deterioration of inflation expectations, fueling inflation and weakening the recovery. On both fiscal and monetary counts, the key issue ahead is when and how to retire stimulus without letting these risks materialize.

Finally, Mexico has important tasks ahead. One relates to the improvement of the fiscal and monetary framework to continue supporting growth prospects. In response to the foreseen decline of oil‐related fiscal revenues, at the end of last year, the Mexican Congress approved a fiscal reform that included certain higher tax rates. Additionally, some public‐sector prices at the federal and local levels will be revised upward in 2010, particularly those such as for gasoline and gas that were frozen during 2009 to support the economy.

Notwithstanding some possible short‐term undesirable effects on economic activity,5 these adjustments may be justified as a means to maintain the long‐term sustainability of public finances, ameliorating Mexico’s “country at risk” perception.
For an estimation of the possible effects of the fiscal package on the real economic activity, see Banco
de México, Addendum al Informe sobre la Inflación Julio – Septiembre 2009, December 2009:

Additionally, a strong fiscal position contributes to the anchoring of inflation expectations and the lowering of both short‐ and long‐term interest rates.

Since April 1994, the Bank of Mexico has, as its Constitutional mandate, the main objective of “preserving the purchasing power of the currency,” which means price stability. To fulfill its obligation, since 2001, the central bank has conducted its monetary policy under an inflation‐targeting regime and established as its medium‐term objective a 3% annual inflation rate.

Price stability is a highly commendable objective as it represents a necessary condition for sustainable economic growth. As you know, inflation is one of the worst maladies that can affect any economic system, and Mexico has suffered its catastrophic consequences during long periods in the past. Inflation acts as one of the most regressive taxes, wiping out the financial wealth of the poor. It introduces a wide range of inefficiencies in the form of diversion of economic resources from their most productive uses. Its associated uncertainty shortens the planning horizons for savings, investment and job creation.

In short, inflation dramatically lowers the possibilities for growth and poverty alleviation. So particularly for us, it is essential to fight against inflation.6

For an exposition of the benefits of price stability, see Ben Bernanke, “The Benefits of Price Stability”
speech at the Center for Economic Studies, Princeton University, February 24 2006:

After many years of severe price instability, during the past decade inflation in Mexico has been reduced to relatively low levels. In 2009, to accommodate the shock of the global crisis, the Bank of Mexico reduced its policy interest rate by 375 basis points. As the effects of previous currency depreciation subsided and economic slack remained substantial, annual inflation came down to 3.6% by year‐end.

For 2010, the increases in taxes and public‐sector prices will likely have a direct, once‐and‐for‐all impact on inflation that is expected to dissipate early in 2011. It is not advisable for any central bank to try to offset these kinds of effects, as this would require an overly restrictive monetary policy in order to exert downward pressure on other prices. In fact, the likely outcome of such an attempt could be a negligible effect on inflation and downward pressure on economic activity.

However, the central bank should be ready to act when these kinds of price adjustments appear to affect the medium‐term dynamics of inflation or lead to a deterioration of inflation expectations.

Therefore, in 2010 the Bank of Mexico will remain vigilant to prevent likely transitory pressures on inflation from becoming widespread or from raising inflation expectations, so that its inflation target of 3% may be reached by 2011.

If the Mexican central bank determines that the behavior of these variables is inconsistent with its inflation target, it will not hesitate to adjust its policy interest rate to induce inflation and inflation expectations towards the 3% target.

A second type of challenge is the need to implement structural reforms in order to increase the potential growth rate of the economy. These include changes to make the use of labor and investment more attractive, enhance total factor productivity, and take advantage of worldwide technological progress.

In the pursuit of this agenda, there is no panacea and a wide range of transformations is desirable. These include a fiscal reform that efficiently broadens the tax base and focuses public expenditure to the better provision of public goods, such as public security, protection of property rights and physical infrastructure, as well as the liberalization of barriers to entrepreneurial activities, which take the form of red tape and limitations or prohibitions to production, investment, and market flexibility and competition.

Concluding Remarks

The recent deep recession had its origin abroad, but its impact was somewhat mitigated by the sound macroeconomic fundamentals prevalent in the country.

Fortunately, the global economy has begun to recover, a trend which is already benefiting Mexico. The sustainability of economic growth will depend on the appropriate management of crucial challenges in advanced economies related to removing the extraordinary measures undertaken to handle the crisis.

Mexico will need to continue strengthening its framework for macroeconomic and financial stability, as well as pursue structural reforms that would increase its potential economic growth. With these changes, Mexico will be able to improve its prospects for higher living standards and achieve substantial poverty reduction.