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Mexico's poor image in the U.S.

It may come as little surprise that Americans hold a generally unfavorable view of Mexico. A poll released this week offers a snapshot of those views.

A majority 72 percent of Americans think Mexico is unsafe for travel and barely 17 percent consider the country to be modern.

The issues that cause greatest concern about Mexico are drugs and corruption, not immigration and border issues, the survey found. Check this National journal website for a "word cloud" giving a visual interpretation of the negative views.

A thousand adults were asked their views by the polling firm Vianovo/GSD&M in early October. The margin of error is 3.9 percent.

Fully 50 percent had “mostly unfavorable” or “very unfavorable” opinions of Mexico. Only 17 percent had “mostly favorable” or “very favorable” opinions. Of 11 countries mentioned in the survey, only China and Saudi Arabia scored more unfavorably. Ranking higher than Mexico were Canada, Brazil, Colombia, Greece, United Kingdom, Turkey, El Salvador and Russia.

Some 55 percent of those surveyed said they’d heard something about Mexico in the past month. Eighty-one percent said it had to do with “drug problems/cartels/drug violence” while 42 percent said it was something about “murder/shootings/beheadings.”

No matter how much positive is written about Mexico in the news media, it will take some time to turn these attitudes around.


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John J. Troidl

Darn! Another unsolved USA murder. Guy was shot to death in his truck in his Mother's driveway. Can't even visit your mother safely in this country. I wonder what our Mexican neighbors must think of this!!??


John Troidl

Just another sample of routine violence and disrespect for family and authority in the US... wonder what the Mexicans think when they read this?


John Troidl

I wonder what the Mexicans think of CIA Director Petraes' bad behavior and the disruption in our government at the highest levels. Do they think "Americans can't keep it zipped!"?


John Troidl

Here's some video news about a shootout on Highway 580 in Northern California on the eve before Thanksgiving. Also they found a dead body nearby but thought that that was unrelated.

Welcome to the USA, baby!


Max Rodda

If you ask me, I have lots of mexican friends. And they're very friendly and hospitable. And I don't know why some of the people thinks they are "dangerous"

And it seems US is somehow very bias when it comes to mexican people.

pink schnoid

Dane is correct, I was too generous with my "second grade level" comment...I was trying to be nice, but the cold truth is that the northerners who come down to Mexico are generally xenophobic and intellectually lazy....they have completely tarnished the glint of the word "ex-patriot"...

they band together because they speak English and they like to drink beer and complain about their housekeepers...arrogantly they think they are still big balls in cow town yet they are constantly being duped and are pretty much lost outside their little gringo cocoon...


I love Oaxaca ,the history of Mexico and the people ! I am from Holland ,living in Texas (45yrs)My 25 yr. old daughter travelled alone across Mexico and fell in love with the Country, she had no problems at all.
Too many negativity on these posts!


For all of the United States' problems it's still worlds ahead of that open toilet crime state that is Mexico. After all you don't see millions of people stealing over the border to get TO Mexico do you?
Anybody who has a problem with this inconvenient truth....DEAL WITH IT.

Ben Gonzalez

It's a shame that when someone points out what's wrong with Mexico - no Mexicans want to acknowledge there are problems. If its bad its because of the US, yet everyone wants to be in the US? Anyone that has been to Mexico knows when they're in Mexico and that's even if they've visited the poorest cities in the US. Acknowledge no one there wants to improve Mexico and work towards fixing Mexican problems otherwise you'll just keep exporting your poor to the US.


I agree with pink schnoid, but put the bar at 15 months instead of second grade. A second grader is completely fluent, but lacks advanced vocabulary and the ability to construct advanced ideas. I have found most Americans and Canadians living in Mexico unable to express any ideas in Spanish whatsoever.


I would like to see the same individuals asked the same questions about how they feel about several inter-city areas within the U.S.

pink schnoid

generally, even the Americans that live in Mexico know very little....I say 90% do not speak more than second grade elementary school level Spanish and know next to nothing about Mexico's history...the "ugly American" is present all over Mexico, so it is not a surprise that Mexico has a poor image in the USA...

also, the press is generally lurid...


Jim Hatch ... and noses stuffed with white powder. The arrogance.

Jim Hatch

It's a bit much when it's the US citizen's desire for drugs against a prohibition of the same, that has made Mexico 'unfavourable'. They do not see life beyond their own short noses

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This blog is written by Tim Johnson, the Mexico bureau chief for McClatchy Newspapers.

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