Mexico Essentials, Mexico Safety

6 Reasons Why Mexico is Safer than You Think

Mexico Spotlight

We occasionally receive questions from people asking about the current situation regarding safety and security in Mexico.  To provide some perspective, listed here are six reasons which demonstrate how Mexico’s drug-related issues, which remain a body of work to address, do not make Mexico wholly unsafe.

Visitor numbers keep rising: The Bank of Mexico is responsible for collating and publishing foreign visitor statistics. The latest figures reveal that over 35 million foreign tourists arrived in Mexico in 2016, up 9% on the year before, continuing the rising trend over the last several years. Mexico is one of the world’s top-ten most visited nations in the world.  Despite some of the negative news-flow, and especially that around the drug-related violence, people keep coming to Mexico.  Statistics from foreign consulate records consistently show that the overwhelming majority of visits to Mexico are trouble-free.

Mexico is evolving into one of the world’s most important economies. Years of sound economic governance, a welcoming economy with policies that encourage free trade and partnership (Mexico has tariff-free trade agreements with 46 countries around the world), coupled with shrewd investment, and relatively low debt (public and private) have created an attractive environment for investors and foreign companies. Mexico is today one of the world’s few ‘trillion-dollar’ economies, and mature nations are keen to work with Mexico.

No foreign resident exodus. In decades now long-past, when Mexico’s economy was less open and less stable, foreign residents would often flee home in the event of a peso crisis.  Today, even with the drug-related flare-ups, no such exodus is taking place and, furthermore, we are seeing interest in relocation to Mexico rising substantially.  Mexico’s government is expecting its expat communities to grow over the coming decade and beyond, and offers choices in facilitation of this, as welcoming foreign residents—who bring their energy and capital to Mexico—creates significant mutual benefits.  If Mexico is a wholly dangerous place to be, why are existing foreign residents staying put and inquiries for relocation to Mexico growing?

The violence is mostly confined to drug-gangs. The research data show that the surge of homicides in Mexico over the last few years has come about through drug-gang members killing other drug-gang members. Tourists, business visitors, and foreign residents are not being targeted by the drug-gangs, and statistics from foreign consulates show that the overwhelming majority of visits to Mexico pass by trouble-free.

Mexico matters: Mexico is a good neighbor to the U.S. and is also one of the world’s most important nations—poised to play important roles in world affairs during this 21st century.  Mexico and the U.S. share a very broad range of common interests and both nations work together on issues concerning trade and security in efforts to bring prosperity and well-being to the continent.

Mexico’s underlying story is strong and getting stronger. Notwithstanding the drug-related issues, the country’s macro-economics are in good shape; Mexico has substantial oil and gas reserves as well as considerable mineral and precious metal wealth; it’s also enacting structural reforms across key sectors with the intention to transition the country’s economy from being heavily dependent on oil and manufacturing into a multi-faceted, diverse and sustainable economic environment; foreign visitors keep coming back despite the negative news-flow; Mexico’s free trade agreements are bridges which cultivate understanding, trade and prosperity between the signatories of these accords.

Every day, tourists arrive in Mexico to rest themselves and enjoy its rich culture and heritage; business visitors arrive to trade and cultivate new friendships, and foreign residents living here are going about their lives normally, contributing positively in the Mexican communities they call home.  These activities don’t make headlines, but they are indeed the real-life experiences of people visiting and living safely in Mexico.


  1. Uta says

    I strongly agree with all the posted comments. Having visited the the coastal areas and also central Mexico a few times, I can truly say, I enjoyed every single visit. I always felt safe and welcomed by wonderful mexican people. I hope I can return many more times.

  2. Lynda says

    I have visited all over Mexico for over 40 years. My sister is now retired and living in Mexico. I have been asked many times why I would travel to such a dangerous place. My response is that I live in San Francisco and do not worry about riots or murders in Chicago. Yes, crime happens but I feel very safe and absolutely love the friendly, family oriented people as well as the beautiful country and architecture. The food is good too!

  3. Rene says

    I live in Australia a very safe country but culturally very boring 2013 I went with my family
    to Mexico for nearly one month as my son girlfriend (now his wife) lived in DF she took us to all best places I never saw any danger but the opposite in one occasion going for the tequila tour in Jalisco my son took some money from an automatic bank machine 40 meters was the bus waiting just before we departure one local run behind us to return my son forgotten credit card he found inserted in the teller.
    I believe that for many years some sector of the USA world Media have been trying hard to
    undermine Mexico cultural reputation going around the globe naming Mexico the third on the scale as an unsafest country which is just jealousy.
    Awaiting to retire in Mexico

  4. Luis Miguel says

    I have been spending summers in Playa del Carmen for the past 10 years and have never had or seen any problems. Mexico is a wonderful place with wonderful people and a wonderful culture. Having grown up in Africa, lived in Europe, Asia and now the Middle East Mexico is the best. No one bothers you, no one judges you, no one cares where you are from or what you look like. I hope to retire here someday.

  5. Lee says

    I went to Central MX in the midst of the swine flu scare in 2009. “Scares”, whipped up by the media and the generally untravelled public, are no more than that, scares. In travelling Mexico, as in life itself, most of what we worry about never happens!

    I’m looking forward to going back. There is such a richness of cultural diversity, history, arts, and language there that I wish I had started decades ago to try to cram it all into one lifetime!

  6. lianadevine says

    We have lived in the Oaxaca Trailer Park for 3 years. Many of the travellers who pass through the park are NOT North American snowbirds, i.e. Canadians and Americans, but Europeans and other “global citizens” who want to see the Real Mexico and experience more culture than the gringo enclaves and all-inclusives provide. Often their travels begin in the US, and as they set off on their trek south – with the intention of visiting North, Central and South America – they are warned about how dangerous it is in Mexico. The media, narrow-minded travellers and those ignorant of places and people outside their own county or country put ill-conceived fears into their heads, so they are subsequently pleasantly surprised when they arrive in Mexico to learn the truth firsthand: Mexico is an enchanting country filled with warm, generous people. Bad apples can be found everywhere on the planet, but they are in the minority in the majority of places, so to condemn an entire country is ridiculous.

  7. alex leza says

    I have visited mexico three or four times a year for the last five years and have never felt in danger.I have even taken my grandchildren with me and at no time did they feel unsafe.mexico is a beautiful country but the people are its greatest mexico

  8. Karen Nordin says

    I have stayed in Mexico, for study and for pleasure, four times in the past decade, and look forward eagerly to my next visit. We have never gone to resort areas, but visit towns and cities where we can really experience the language and culture. The beauty and the friendly people are magnets, drawing us back. We always visit in Mexico City as well. As in any large city (eg, New York, Chicago, L.A.), we take common sense precautions, but we have never felt unsafe. I have been attacked twice in Chicago, but never in Mexico. It is a marvelous country, our close neighbour, winning the hearts of non-Mexicans with music, art, beautiful architecture, many schools and universities, and an atmosphere that makes you want to stay forever!

  9. Gloria says

    I have lived in Mexico for eleven years. During this time, I have traveled extensively throughout Mexico, visiting both the major cities and many smaller villages.. I travel by bus, both interstate and locally. I have lived in central Mexico and in Baja. When in Baja, I walk across the border to San Diego several times a week, going through Tijuana with the commuting locals and expats.. Never once have I felt threatened or in danger. I have felt safer in ALL of Mexico than I feel in the U.S. I have been robbed, mugged and pickpocketed in the U.S., but NEVER in Mexico. I have applied for and just received permanent residency in Mexico. I get FULL medical insurance coverage (including medications and tests) for only $400U.S. per YEAR!!! You couldn’t pay me to return to live in the U.S.

  10. Fiona says

    I recently wrote about this topic and interviewed a number of expats, from as far afield as Mexico City to Tijuana (!). Not one felt in danger. The woman in Tijuana even said she felt more threatened riding the trolley in San Diego than she does on the public transport in Mexico.

    More people need to know about this.

  11. Frank says

    I live in Mexico for close to 5 years and have never once felt in danger. I travel throughout, have friends down, etc. and everyone marvels at how wonderful Mexico is and how distorted and biased many headlines in the USA are.

    This is a good article and worth sending to others.

  12. Thanks for sharing this. So many people just assume that ALL of Mexico is extremely dangerous, yet they never assume that ALL of the US is dangerous just because of what goes on in inner-city Detroit.

  13. David Meier says

    Very interesting. I’ll share this with my staff and customers.

  14. eddieMex says

    Great read. Thank you for sharing. I will share this with our customers on our Facebook page.

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