Mexico's president says country is safe to travel anywhere

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MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico’s president claimed Wednesday that every corner of his country is safe enough to travel to, despite persistently high murder rates and areas plagued by the turf wars of drug gangs.

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador acknowledged there are “risks” in some places. But he claimed that “life goes on unchanged in the whole country.”

“I maintain that I, as president, or any other person, can go to any part of the country,” López Obrador said. “Yes there are risks in some regions more than in others, in some cities more than others, but life goes on unchanged in the whole country.”

That contrasts with recent events like the recent abduction four Americans, and the killing of two, in the border city of Matamoros. U.S. travel warnings that advise travelers to completely avoid six of Mexico’s 32 states, and reconsider travel to seven other states due to crime.

Mexico has suffered some of the highest homicide rates in recent history during the first four years of López Obrador's administration, with only a slight decline in 2022.

López Obrador has angrily rejected comments last week by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken that the Mexican government has lost control over parts of the country. Blinken said “I think it’s fair to say yes” when asked at a Senate hearing whether drug cartels control parts of Mexico.