Time magazine has weighed in on the notion, reported earlier in Crime & Justice News, that the U.S.-Mexican border is not so dangerous a place as critics have contended. FBI data show that the U.S. cities with populations of at least 500,000 with the lowest violent crime rates – San Diego, Phoenix, and the Texas cities of El Paso and Austin – are all in border states.
It is true that Phoenix has seen a spate of kidnappings. In almost every case they’ve involved drug traffickers targeting other narcos for payment shakedowns, and the 318 abductions reported last year were down 11 percent from 2008. The figure hardly makes Phoenix, as Arizona Senator John McCain asserts, “the No. 2 kidnapping capital of the world” behind Mexico City. A number of Latin American capitals can claim that dubious distinction.