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There has been no shortage of media coverage when it comes to recent crime and shootings in Mexico. The U.S media paints Mexico as an unsafe and crime riddled nation that is completely out of control. In my opinion, it's easier to point the finger than look in your own backyard.
As a Canadian snowbird living in Mexico, I wanted to get the TRUTH if Mexico is as dangerous as the U.S media makes it out to be. I live in Mazatlan, Sinaloa (YES, the Mexican state you see in all the movies) and I feel completely safe. That doesn't mean that there isn't crime here, but with anywhere you travel, you need to use common sense.
I believe Mexico is just as safe as the United States and in some cases, SAFER. It will of course depend on where and how you travel in Mexico.
For example, the U.S. has a Level 4 ‘Do Not Travel' warning for the entire state of Sinaloa, meaning that where I live in Mazatlan must be unsafe, correct? Wrong, if it was truly unsafe, I sure wouldn't be risking the life of my wife by staying here. We are able to walk around at night without any worries in what has been portrayed in the media as a dangerous place to travel.
I'm sure there are pockets that could be considered as unsafe in Sinaloa, but where we live in the touristy area of Mazatlan sure isn't one of them.
Is the U.S. media unfairly judging the whole country of Mexico based on isolated events? You be the judge based on the numbers below:
Is Mexico Safe to visit?
YES it is safe to visit. Staying within the tourist areas of major destinations like Cabo, Puerto Vallarta, Cancun, Mazatlan and Merida is your best bet for staying safe while visiting Mexico.
Using the comparison website Nation Master, I compared the crime rates of the United States and Mexico to find the truth. It's no secret that Mexico has a higher murder rate than the United States, but going on that one fact alone isn't enough to decide if Mexico is safe to visit.
The statistics revealed what we already knew about the higher murder rate in Mexico but surprisingly, according to Nation Master, the United States was MORE dangerous in almost every other category including rapes and violent assaults.
The reported assaults per 100,000 people was four times higher in the United States.
The reported rapes per 100,000 people was two times higher in the United States.
The reported amount of opiate abuse as a percantage of the population was six times higher in the United States.
The reported violent assaults causing bodily harm per 100,000 people was 76% higher in the United States.
The reported number of car thefts per 1000 vehicles was three times higher in the United States.
The reported number of reported burglaries per 100,000 people was 35 times higher in the United States.
The two areas where Mexico was found to be more dangerous than the United States was robberies and murders.
The reported number of murders per 100,000 people was two times higher in Mexico.
The reported number of robberies per 100,000 people was three times higher in Mexico.
While the murder rate in Mexico may seem scary, almost all of the murders are happening far away from the tourist areas.
The moral of the story is that crime can happen almost averywhere. Learn how to stay safe while traveling before leaving on your trip to Mexico.
Just like you shouldn't head out in Compton, Los Angeles in the middle of the night intoxicated, same thing goes for tourists getting involved in drugs in Mexico. It's not the smartest idea.
Top 5 Tips to staying safe while traveling in Mexico
- Stay within tourist areas
- Do not get involved with drugs
- Be polite and courteous
- Keep a low profile and do not flaunt signs of wealth
- Drink responsibly as drunk tourists make very easy targets for theft/robbery
Mexico isn't this big bad crime ridden country like the media so often portrays. The Mexican people are friendly, the landscapes are stunning and warm tropical beaches draw us back year after year.
Let us know your thoughts below in the comments! Do you believe Mexico is safe to visit?