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Elizabeth63

Which areas in Mexico are considered to be the 'safest' to live

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The 30.8 murders per 100,000 in all of Mexico seems way too high to me. I believe it is about half that.

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Do the math. The number is low according to some estimates, which range from 30k to 45k over 5 years.

113,423,000÷100,000

=1,134.23

1,134.23×30.8

=34,934.284

How do you come to half that?

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After multiple trips to Merida, we find it to be very safe and the people, genuinely friendly and helpful. In Centro there is a visible police presence, including tourist police. When you talk to the locals, they all mention how peaceful it is and how the city is adamant about not allowing the problems in other parts of Mexico to creep in. One of the first things people will tell you is that they are Mayan. They welcome NOB visitors and expats and we felt safe everywhere we went. Interestingly enough, credit cards are accepted most everywhere and ATMs dont seem to be a problem -- the banking practices I read about on this forum don't appear to be necessary. All in all, Merida seems to pride itself on safety and the crime that surely exists is pretty invisible. That said, the heat is pretty unbearable although we are told you acclimate after a time. It is the only thing holding us back from trying it full time - we may have to wait until we can be snowbirds!

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Mérida is very lovely. We have been there a couple of times. The people are very hospitable, Yucatan cuisine is excellent. I, however, could never tolerate the summers there. You use A/C in your bedroom to be able to sleep. You shower in the a.m., leave your bedroom/bath and go through the rest of your day in a mega-sweat.....your belt, your underwear, everything. I'd be doing a lot more laundry there.

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A friend tells me that Tuxtla Gutierrez, the capital of Chiapas, is the safest city in Mexico and one of the safest places on the planet.

Can't give any stats to back that up, but the interesting point this person says that public security has improved significantly since women in the community mobilized to play a key role in protecting the citizenry. City govt. website shows a female serves as chief of police department.

Chiapas could be the safest area for now but lets not forget that this is Comandante Marcos ( guerilla comandante) turf. You never know when the political situation may activate El Comandante. They've been quiet for a while but " quien sabe por cuanto tiempo".

Queretaro is one of the Jewel Colonial Cities of Mexico. That was one of Maximiliano's playground while "Emperor of Mexico". The French and Spaniards (criollos) tried to replicate many of the structures and ambiance of the Old World..

As for safety, any place can changed in a heart beat. Eventually you have to think, Am I going to keep moving every time something happens. Your road will be a long one. There is nothing more fearsome than fear itself.

Poverty, poor education and lack of opportunity is the root of many of the maladies of this planet.

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Well said carib...I just love Mexico, and was thinking I could explore an area that might be a little less tumultuous for a while..I am a vagabond, so don't mind moving around...it's all an adventure! Life is a journey...

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Elizabeth your attitude will carry you through your journey. If passing through SMA we can be your tour guide, plus we know several female expats of every age here with your sense of adventure. And, don't forget nearby Guanajuato. Enjoy the moment.

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Merida is a plaza, but at the moment not a plaza in play. As long as the cartel controlling it isn't challenged it will remain quiet but if the Zeta's or their main combatants at this time, the associated Sinaloa cartels start to push in then all bets are off. The same thing has been true in Guadalajara and surrounding areas for a long time but reports are that the whole area is now or will soon be 'in play'.... in fact Guadalajara could be the worst of all worlds with the two giants fighting over this territory much like what has been going on in Juarez.

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Oaxaca and San Cristobal de las Casas have their problems too. One block from our house in San Cristobal a man was found disemboweled.in front of the El Cerrillo church. They kill chickens there but it was a first a man was involved in that Maya ritual for many centuries...

I would think Merida would be the last refuge. Out of the main drug routes. Not perfect but better than other cities.They have petty crime too but not the gory massacres other cities have. Holbox, Cozumel may qualify too...

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Actually that is not true. It is rare, not common, for people not involved in the drug business to be killed in Mexico. Crime in the U.S. is random. Anyone can be a victim of crime.

mexico-vs-usacrime.jpg

Groan!!!!

SOURCES:
The Eighth United Nations Survey on Crime Trends and the Operations of Criminal Justice Systems (2002) (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Centre for International Crime Prevention); The Eighth United Nations Survey on Crime Trends and the Operations of Criminal Justice Systems (2002) (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Centre for International Crime Prevention);
; Wikipedia:
; The Eighth United Nations Survey on Crime Trends and the Operations of Criminal Justice Systems (2002) (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Centre for International Crime Prevention);
, 2002;
- World Prison Brief;
; All
18 December 2003 to 18 December 2008;
2006

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Well said carib...I just love Mexico, and was thinking I could explore an area that might be a little less tumultuous for a while..I am a vagabond, so don't mind moving around...it's all an adventure! Life is a journey...

Chiapas is very safe for tourists as long as you respect people´s customs.. I go everywhere by myself on public transportation and never had a problem. The Zapatistas are not out to kill tourists and foreigners. They know a large part of their funding comes from foreigners so do not worry about them.

As long as you do not travel at night and take the same precautions as you take anywhere, do not hesitate to go down there. Best time March or April( for San Cristobal), the rains start mid May although you can have rain any time in the year.

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The only problem with those impressive tables, Max, is that most crime here is not reported. Not sure how one gets around that one.

Too much crime everywhere and as the economic distress grows, it will only go in one direction.

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The only problem with those impressive tables, Max, is that most crime here is not reported. Not sure how one gets around that one.

Too much crime everywhere and as the economic distress grows, it will only go in one direction.

Not my tables. Another problems with the tables is they are way out of date - I wish people would stop quoting Nation Master !! (and comparing Mexico to the US published crime rates - as Mexico conviction rates can be as low as 2% or as high as 5% - depending on the source and the assumptions for unreported crime in Mexico).

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Ajijic is right, very little crime or murders is reported. People who quote tables like that are very out of touch with mexico, for example murders happen in toluca frequently, many times on buses, but you will not see that reflected in any statistics you find. This is not a narco area, the motives are robbery. Last week a guy was killed on a bus, you usually don't hear much though unless people you are around know the dead or saw it happen.

Max is also correct on the conviction rate, pretty close to nil unless the police are paid apart to investigate it. Investigations do not happen unless it's high profile. Even the narcos paraded on tv rarely actually go to court, they are not prosecuted for some "technicality". We will see what happens with el chapo, the last time a high representative had hime moved to a low security prison where he "escaped".

Merida has been mentioned, but also very humid as mentioned. Queretaro is very nice and so far escaping the narco violence, the wife has a friend she went to school with here that lives in queretaro and she says it's still nice. She says, and we agree, stay to the north there. Safer and newer. Chiapas is a great place to consider, we have a very good friend that's a mexico state police and his wife is from san cristobal de los casas. They own property there, beautiful p lace. This guy is amazingly great for a cop here, they are very despised and with reason. There's always the exception though.

We are considering metepec (the good area of toluca), san cristobal, have considered merida also but the heat scares me...it would be better than the cold here though. Nobody here has heat, it gets below 0 c sometimes and cement houses are very cold. We also have considered queretaro, still are.

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San Cristobal is not as cold as Toluca but it gets pretty cold too and most people do not have heat there either. Few houses have fireplaces but if you move down there you can buy some gas wall heater before going, many houses have wooden shutters and wooden ceilings and they keep the heat in if you have a fireplcae or a gas heater.

I have never been so cold in the winter than in a hotel in Atlacomulco. It appeared to be a decent hotel but it was freezing, there was no heat insde and the hot water heater system had broken down so there was no hot water...I shivered all night and could not wait to get out in the morning. I do not know how people can stand it.

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The government admits to approaching 50,000 murders from drug activities over the last 5 years. If they admit to that the actual number has to be some multiple of that... like 5 or 10 times more. That is not counting the murders from drunken arguments and other non drug disputes. Comparing murder rates between Mexico and any country that actually counts them up instead of estimating them seem like a fools exercise.

Predicting which areas will be 'safer' in the future is also just guessing.... I read in the US papers today that Mexico City is experiencing rapid growth in drug murders and body dumping is taking off there. Used to be a 'safe' place since everyone agreed it would be bad business for the cartels to rub the violence in the noses of the legislature... but apparently that 'rule' is changing, just as at one time people say cartel violence wasn't tolerated by the cartels lakeside since almost everyone has a family vacation home here.

Your odds of personally being drawn into violence here are low if you don't get involved in drugs... a lot more likely than in the past decades but still statistically low. Enjoy life here as much as you can unless or until your personal threshold for 'risk' is exceeded.

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San Cristobal is not as cold as Toluca but it gets pretty cold too and most people do not have heat there either. Few houses have fireplaces but if you move down there you can buy some gas wall heater before going, many houses have wooden shutters and wooden ceilings and they keep the heat in if you have a fireplcae or a gas heater.

I have never been so cold in the winter than in a hotel in Atlacomulco. It appeared to be a decent hotel but it was freezing, there was no heat insde and the hot water heater system had broken down so there was no hot water...I shivered all night and could not wait to get out in the morning. I do not know how people can stand it.

It can be tough. Most bundle up and take nothing off when they come in, that includes sleeping in same. Most have hot water, but a good portion do not.

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It is pretty difficult to say which areas are safer as no good statistics are collected. One thing is certain gated communities are much safer than non gated ones. Protection around your property such as high walls, barbed wire, dogs, barred windows, etc. add more security. So if you find an area where you want to live pick out a property that is in the most secure part- ie where access is restricted by guards and then make sure your property is very secure.

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We drove visitors to the airport in Guadalajara yesterday (between 4 and 5pm) and saw two separate LARGE collections of policia on the north side of the highway into Guad. Does anyone know what might have been happening?

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I have heard from many locals that Colima was one of safest and friendliest cities in Mexico - except for the nearby volcano, that is! (Visited there once and found it very pleasant AND quiet.)

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