There is much in the news for the last couple of years concerning the safety, or lack of it, and the potential of encountering violence while traveling in Mexico.
First – the simple and obvious fact is that crime is world-wide. There is no place a person can go that could be guaranteed to be free of the chance of encountering a “bad” person who would be willing to take advantage of you in one way or another. Another simple fact – crime in the U.S. surpasses that in Mexico, both when measured in total volume., or when measured as a ratio/percentage of the total population.
Certainly there are places a traveler should not go at all – in both countries – and places one should not go at night. Think about it: Would you, as a tourist, want to go the “poor areas” of Detroit, Philadelphia, or Los Angeles after dark or unaccompanied even during the day? The same holds true for certain cities of Mexico (and every other country).
That said . . . there has been escalating, and usually drug-cartel related violence in several parts of Mexico. There are state department warnings for travel in all the northern states of Mexico along the U.S. border, as well as other particular locations further south.. It would make good sense to heed those warnings as much as is possible. Best to avoid travel to places like Tijuana, Ciudad Juarez, Monterrey, Veracruz, even Guadalajara.
Yet the prime tourist destinations of Yucatan peninsula; Riviera Maya, Cancun, Merida, Playa del Carmen, Cozumel, etc. remain safe for visitors, with very little (other than petty) crime. The same holds true for the great resorts in the Cabo San Lucas, and San Jose del Cabo area of southern Baja. As well, the monumental cities of Oaxaca, Puebla, Guanajuato, etc remain safe destinations.
An interesting fact that helps keep it all in perspective: More travelers from the U.S. will visit Mexico – each day – than visit London in an entire year! Now if the danger were as prevalent as the news sometimes makes it out to be – why in the world would Mexico remain one of the top international travel destinations? The real truth is that 99% of all visitors have a safe and wonderful experience in Mexico.
Travel with care, stay away from known “bad spots,” do not put yourself into questionable situations or areas, and you will not only remain as part of that 99% – but will come from Mexico already looking forward to your next trip “down south.”