Earlier this year I spent two weeks traveling all over the areas of Ixta, Popo, and Pico. I didn't run into any problems with the people. Nor did I hear of any major problems in the media. This is including a few days in Mexico City, which I thoroughly enjoyed.
Just be careful if you find yourself on the Mexican Pacific coast. I was robbed by police twice.
In almost a month in Mexico I never had any problems with any of the Mexican people aside from the police. I met quite a few travelers as well and no one had any real problems. Watch yourself on the bus rides though. The police love to single you out at the checkpoints. If your just doing one of the big 3 you shouldn't have any problems with this though.
I love the Mexican people they were very kind, friendly, and helpful. Can't wait to go back.
i wouldn't be too worried about safety - mexico city can be a bit sketchy, especially if you are driving, but so are all major cities in the world, especially in latin america - puebla is a reasonably safe area - i found prices to be exorbitant and people to be rude (compared with the rest of mexico), but it's very much a first world country in that region - just keep an eye on your stuff at bus terminals, but do that in any country
if there is any 'civil unrest' in mexico as of late, it is mostly in the US border states (plus culiacan) - i have not climbed pico de orizaba, but a i camped at 4000m on its slopes and i also climbed iztacchihuatl and camped at both the pass and the trailhead - i also camped at the base of nevado de toluca - and climbed la malinche without camping - no big deal anywhere - for the record, oaxaca is totally safe - chiapas is also fine, but stay away from remote jungle areas near the guatemala border if concerned
I too was pretty worried about the so-called "unrest" situation before I went to Mexico just over a year ago. In fact, as I flew in to land at Mexico City I really felt I was flying into some sort of war zone (because of what I'd read in the media), and wanted to go home!
Once out of the airport and safely into an approved taxi, we got to our pre-booked hotel. From that moment in I realised all my worried had been absolutely uneccesary. It was just like any big city, where all you need is common sense. And the police were reassuringly everywhere. We were two ageing climbers travelling alone, and were soon happy to use the underground and use buses, and everywhere we went we had a great time. Whilst we were in Mexico climbing volcanoes, friends of our were in Italy doing the same thing there. Unfortunately they encountered a fake accident which was a prelude to two men opeing their car door, grabbing their valuables before they realised what was happening, and making off with their stuff. That wasn't civil unrest. Just unlucky. It'll be the same in Mexico. Hope this helps.