Motorists in the southwestern U.S., understandably, are tempted to drive across the border to buy Mexico's cheaper gas (approximately $3 U.S. per gallon).
California consumers, on average, are paying $4.32 per gallon, an increase of 26 cents in the past month. Arizona consumers have seen the price at the pump increase 34 cents per gallon to $3.89 during the same period.
In Mew Mexico, the average has increased by 35 cents per gallon to $3.66 and in Texas, they're now looking at a state average of $3.75 per gallon.
Regardless of the price disparity, it's not worth it. Don't even think about it.
Robert Dobbin, president and CEO, WestPoint Contractors Inc., based in Tucson, AZ, says rising gas prices always send consumers south of the border and invariably, some of the interest is from businesses and truckers looking for lower cost diesel too. But he would not even consider it. "We see this whenever gas prices go up; people think they're better off driving across the border, but it's too much of a risk," he says.
Mr. Dobbin is a master of understatement. Over the past five years more than 47,000 people have been killed in Mexico's drug wars; 13,000 in 2011 alone. And this activity is not contained to criminals killing each other... the murders have included many innocent civilians and the mayors of 10 of Mexico's cities. Just last month John and Wanda Casias, a couple from Texas doing missionary work in Mexico were murdered there.
In January 2011 Mexico's drug wars left 15 casualties beheaded and the bodies were left conspicuously at the Plaza Senderos shopping center in Acapulco. That's a special message and the drama of decapitation at a popular tourist destination is not an accident.
Not surprisingly, the U.S. State Department has renewed its Travel Warning for Mexico and we recommend that all Americans abide by it.
(Yes, the president and first lady permitted their daughter to travel to Mexico on a school trip, but you probably don't have 25 members of the U.S. Secret Service assuring your safety there.)
Just a thought.