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Since you asked

3 June 2022

My response to a person who asked why those of us who chose to live in countries like this, with a high firearms murder rate, still feel “safe” and are reluctant to go to the US:

It’s cynical to say this, but gun violence in Latin America generally is “rational”… or, perhaps, “transactional”. That is, against those threating some economic or power interest (not just including criminal enterprises, but against those like human rights workers, labor organizers, ex-wives, or environmentalists who threaten those interests. In the US, it’s random, or motivated by less comprehenible personal reasons.

And, it comes down to access to the weapons. Here, they’re limited to those that can afford to get them on the black market and state security appachiks, and there, it’s a free-for-all.

One Comment leave one →
  1. norm permalink
    5 June 2022 12:48 pm

    In my limited time in Latin America over the last 40 years, Honduras was pretty much open carry, everyone who could afford a side arm, had one on their person-I thought it a somewhat shaky place. Copan had a vigilante peace keeping group that was effective but most of the rest was risky,
    Mexico in my experience, is safer than the cities here in Northeast Ohio. A great deal safer if you go the standard tourist route, stay out of the honky-tonks is good practice. Guatemala is different, in that, the back country can be dangerous because the Maya can be very paranoid about Gringos. I’ve had people beat on my car as I was driving through small backcountry towns. I try to avoid Guatemala City as much as I can. It is hard to avoid if your touring, all roads lead to Guatemala City-the mileage markers all say how far you are from the capital. I try not to go there. The tourist areas are as safe as any US tourist town. It is easy to get robbed anywhere if you’re stupid.

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