As the newly elected Mexican president travels to Washington next week, a new survey released by consulting firm Vianovo on Monday underscores the startling challenges Mexico faces with its international image, especially in the U.S.
The survey highlights what has been widely assumed: that Americans have a generally unfavorable view of Mexico. But while illegal immigration and border crossings may be at the forefront of concerns in the Southwest, drugs and corruption are the ringing concerns of most Americans.
"Drugs" was the word most often used to describe Mexico by those surveyed, as is stunningly illustrated by the survey's word cloud. Additionally, 72 percent cited drug cartels and traffickers as the main reason behind their negative perception of their neighbors to the south.
Of those surveyed, an astounding 72 percent of Americans think Mexico is unsafe for travel and only 17 percent consider the country to be modern.
This correlates with Americans' overall view of Mexico, which ranks near the bottom among 10 other countries that were part of the survey. Ranking third-lowest, with 50 percent of Americans holding an unfavorable view of Mexico, the country hovers around the levels of Colombia and El Salvador. Meanwhile, Brazil, an economic rival of Mexico, is seen more positively among Americans.