Last Updated on November 24, 2023
The American news media excels at scaring its consumers with falsehoods about any number of supposed dangers imperiling their existence. One of these popular boogeymen is Mexico. From Mexican drug cartels to Mexican immigrants to traveling in Mexico, the American media wants you to think Mexico is dangerous.
A newly published Mexico Safety Report in 2023 from Far Homes provides a data-driven response to the “Mexico is dangerous” myth. In addition to looking at how national crime rates in Mexico have been shifting over the past decade, the study also compiled the most up-to-date stats on the safest tourist destinations in Mexico and provided a comparison of crime rates in major US cities for context (using timely FBI data just released this past month).
Crime in Mexico: Reality vs. Myths
- Crime in Mexico has been on the decline since 2016, and while there was a small increase during the most unstable years of the pandemic (2020-2021), crime has been decreasing for the past three years and is back to pre-pandemic levels.
- Some of the safest places for tourists and expats in Mexico include Puerto Vallarta, Los Cabos, and Mexico City, with lower homicide rates than many major US cities.
- Six of America’s seven biggest cities all have worse homicide rates than Mexico City (Philly, DC, Chicago, Houston, Phoenix, and L.A.).
Is there crime and murder in Mexico? Of course there is. Does this reach tourists? Almost never. Are you any more likely to be a victim of a crime in Mexico than you are in the United States. No.
Tips for Safe Travel in Mexico (and Everywhere else)
- Don’t carry large amounts of cash with you while in public.
- Ensure that your wallet and purse are in a comfortably secure place.
- Leave valuable jewelry at home.
- Use the hotel or resort safe to secure passports, money, or other valuables.
- Don’t go into poorly lit areas at night or by yourself.
- Learn the local language or get a phone app that translates.
- Be aware of your surroundings. ‘Aware,’ not fearful.
- Use common sense. If something doesn’t look or feel right, don’t do it. This is the same precaution you’d take in any American destination.