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Ajijic

So You Think Expats Are Safe?

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For those who report they have no issues in Mexico ask if they have bars on windows, high walls, razor wire or broken glass, sleep with windows closed and locked, etc. How many police die in Canada while on duty? I love Mexico but not in denial about the risks and here because partner is Mexican.

People drive in Iraq every day with no repercussions but would you consider a vacation there? There are more murders in Mexico than Iraq!

Well, this is a weird post. Is Barra/ Melaque in Mexico or Iraq?

Regarding the walls here, which are of a course an architectural style as much as anything else...When I go to visit my Mom in the house I grew up in a well to do suburb, I'm always shocked at the big picture window that looks directly onto the street. Having grown used to privacy, it seems very odd to look into people's living and dining rooms when I walk around.

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So it seems that the answer to whether Mexico is safe is dependent on two things: 1. Where one lives. 2. Who you ask.

I don't think there is any doubt that it is less safe than most parts of Canada. Parts of Mexico are more safe than parts of the US. Where does that leave someone enquiring as to whether is is safe enough to move to? I'm still working on that one. All feedback is very welcome, as are the responses thus far. One thing I am sure if is that most ex-pats that move to Mexico would make for very good neighbours...at least those that contribute to this board.

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You worry much too much. If you can't put your media driven imagination aside, Mexico is not the place for you. However, if you would enjoy the discovery of a new culture's food, music, arts & crafts, smiling faces, ready handshakes and willingness to drop everything to help a stranger with an automobile problem, then come on down. The odds of anything happening to you are less than you being hurt slipping on the ice at home.

The real dangers in Mexico are the poor shoulders on secondary roads and missing a high 'tope' and damaging your suspension.

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Sigh. Thank you RVG, I've been wanting to say that.

In my opinion, Mexico is not for you, Victorian. You have a lot of fear, people that move here with a lot of fear do not do well here. Then they get angry and frustrated and blame MX and are miserable. There are no guarantees in this country. NONE. It sounds like you've never been here. This is not southern California or south Texas. Read RVGRINGO's post carefully for what it is.

Mexican Trailrunner

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So it seems that the answer to whether Mexico is safe is dependent on two things: 1. Where one lives. 2. Who you ask.

I don't think there is any doubt that it is less safe than most parts of Canada. Parts of Mexico are more safe than parts of the US. Where does that leave someone enquiring as to whether is is safe enough to move to? I'm still working on that one. All feedback is very welcome, as are the responses thus far. One thing I am sure if is that most ex-pats that move to Mexico would make for very good neighbours...at least those that contribute to this board.

You're correct; if you ask folks who live in Mexico we'll tell you we feel safer here than in Canada or the USA. Personal safety is much better here. Theft is everywhere; in Europe it's pickpockets and purse snatchers, here it's burglars. Robbery is rare as are voilent crimes. Narco violence is between narcos and other narcos and corrupt public servants. Something one learns quickly here is that the NOB press doesn't know squat about Mexico.

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Guest Lakeside Crime

You're correct; if you ask folks who live in Mexico we'll tell you we feel safer here than in Canada or the USA. Personal safety is much better here. Theft is everywhere; in Europe it's pickpockets and purse snatchers, here it's burglars. Robbery is rare as are voilent crimes. Narco violence is between narcos and other narcos and corrupt public servants. Something one learns quickly here is that the NOB press doesn't know squat about Mexico.

I think the answer - where you go, and who you ask was a good one. Yes, home break-ins are common - but car breakins are common also. A number have occurred in Ajijic recently - one was caught on video - a black SUV with 3 guys. They broke into 2 cars parked on the carreterra in Riberas. Another theft from a car in downtown Ajijic - and yet another in the small mall to the west of Ajijic. All within the last month. Broad daylight. Personal violence depends on where you go and probably the time of day. We just received an email that a local doctor was beat up - and forced to withdraw funds from his ATM account - this happened at night - in Guad - after leaving a restaurant. Expats do eat out in Guad - so pay attention.

And please - if you do become a victim - or a friend does - please let us know. That is the only way we can provide information to the community. If you don't report it - not very many people will ever know what happened.

http://www.lakesidecrime.com

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Guest Gringal

You're correct; if you ask folks who live in Mexico we'll tell you we feel safer here than in Canada or the USA. Personal safety is much better here. Theft is everywhere; in Europe it's pickpockets and purse snatchers, here it's burglars. Robbery is rare as are voilent crimes. Narco violence is between narcos and other narcos and corrupt public servants. Something one learns quickly here is that the NOB press doesn't know squat about Mexico.

How about they don't know squat, period? Violence makes better headlines than peace. Murder is the best of all, preferably with gross details.

In fact, the most dangerous, life threatening event of our days in getting behind the wheel of our cars and driving. Statistically so, and we all know statistics is infallible. lol. :rolleyes:

Mexico is a very nice place to live. After a while, I found that I preferred my walled, private garden to the open-to-the-street living arrangement, and those thorny bougainvillas are gorgeous, too.

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The only logical answer to your question is that a feeling of safety is very much a personal thing, and cannot be based on how others feel.

We have lived here for over 10 years and feel safe, but, we know people who have left Lakeside because of concerns of personal safety.

The only way to find out is to try it, by coming for a few months. When we moved here, we rented out our house in Canada for a year, and rented a house Lakeside for a year. In that time we concluded that we liked it here.

It's sort of like asking if people think you would like chocolate ice cream!!

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Sigh. Thank you RVG, I've been wanting to say that.

In my opinion, Mexico is not for you, Victorian. You have a lot of fear, people that move here with a lot of fear do not do well here. Then they get angry and frustrated and blame MX and are miserable. There are no guarantees in this country. NONE. It sounds like you've never been here. This is not southern California or south Texas. Read RVGRINGO's post carefully for what it is.

Mexican Trailrunner

I have been to Acapulco, Cabo, Mazatlan, Zihuatanejo, PV and Tijuana. Most of these twice. Of course, all tourist towns, so don't give a feel for the real Mexico. I have travelled inland from many of these and seen extreme poverty. Mexico is a place of contrasts, so it is very hard to discern what living there is like. You can say I have a lot of fear, which could be true. On the other hand there are posts to this board that paint a picture of fairly high risk for Ex-pats.

The obvious answer to my questions is to try living in Mexico on a temporary basis. I may do just that when the time is right. In the mean time I will continue monitoring this board for useful information (crime related or not).

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So it seems that the answer to whether Mexico is safe is dependent on two things: 1. Where one lives. 2. Who you ask.

I don't think there is any doubt that it is less safe than most parts of Canada. Parts of Mexico are more safe than parts of the US. Where does that leave someone enquiring as to whether is is safe enough to move to? I'm still working on that one. All feedback is very welcome, as are the responses thus far. One thing I am sure if is that most ex-pats that move to Mexico would make for very good neighbours...at least those that contribute to this board.

I got the sense when you posed your first question about moving to Mexico that you were asking about common crimes against person and property that can happen anywhere. That is a wholly different question than the one that started this thread which was the threat posed by the violence spinning off of the government's war against the cartels and inter-cartel violence. Nothing even remotely resembling Mexican narco-violence has occurred in the US or Canada in modern times.

I don't know the frequency with which burglary, larceny, theft, motor vehicle theft, or vandalism occur in the ex-pat communities. Those crimes occur where I live (Nuevo Laredo) and where we have rental property (Monclova), but not to an alarming extent. But there is a shadow world that exists alongside the nice Mexico and with troubling frequency it breaks thorough and affects the day to day lives of more and more people. It is not simply confined to the border towns and it is expanding into places where it didn't exist even a few months ago. Simply because someone has had the good fortune of not being in the wrong place at the wrong time doesn't mean the current situation is exaggerated or blown out of context by the media. If anything the level and extent of the violence associated with the cartels is underplayed in the international media.

This tragic event happened earlier today and undoubtedly it is cartel related, most likely the work of the Zetas.

PRI Candidate for Governor of Tamaulipas Assassinated

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I got the sense when you posed your first question about moving to Mexico that you were asking about common crimes against person and property that can happen anywhere. That is a wholly different question than the one that started this thread which was the threat posed by the violence spinning off of the government's war against the cartels and inter-cartel violence. Nothing even remotely resembling Mexican narco-violence has occurred in the US or Canada in modern times.

I don't know the frequency with which burglary, larceny, theft, motor vehicle theft, or vandalism occur in the ex-pat communities. Those crimes occur where I live (Nuevo Laredo) and where we have rental property (Monclova), but not to an alarming extent. But there is a shadow world that exists alongside the nice Mexico and with troubling frequency it breaks thorough and affects the day to day lives of more and more people. It is not simply confined to the border towns and it is expanding into places where it didn't exist even a few months ago. Simply because someone has had the good fortune of not being in the wrong place at the wrong time doesn't mean the current situation is exaggerated or blown out of context by the media. If anything the level and extent of the violence associated with the cartels is underplayed in the international media.

This tragic event happened earlier today and undoubtedly it is cartel related, most likely the work of the Zetas.

PRI Candidate for Governor of Tamaulipas Assassinated

Arroyo Grande: Thank you for the reply. The link you provided is to a Spanish news article. I don't speak Spanish (wish I did).

As far as my initial question, I was speaking of crime of any sort affecting Ex-pats in places like Lakeside. I am trying to assess the day to day concerns an Ex-pat has in regards to crime. That might mean how much your home has to be fortified, whether you can safely go into town at night, how much you have to worry about where your car is parked, whether you are wise to by in a gated (patrolled) community.....all the usual stuff. I am also interested to hear whether the crime rate is increasing, possible due to the recession. If it was increasing rapidly, then what might be acceptable today may be excessive next year.

In Victoria, Canada, where I live, there are very few concerns around the crimes I just listed, so comparisons to large US cities (as some posters refer to) mean very little to me. If I don't know how safe I would feel living in Chicago, how can I use the crime rate there in comparison to Lakeside? My hope is that I could find a quaint Mexican town, where I could live in harmony with the locals, enjoy the climate and the benefits that brings, enjoy the culture, volunteer on a regular basis (and thus gain respect from the locals) and make lots of friends (Ex-pat and Mexican. Does that sound to Pollyanna?

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