A Quick Update

In 2010, we moved back to the small town in Colorado that I never stopped missing while we lived in Mexico. Now I sometimes miss Mexico, but I wouldn't travel as freely as we did when we were there, camping out in remote areas and so forth.

Mexico today is in a period of change, and in many ways it is more dangerous now. That said, I have plenty of American friends who still live there very happily, just taking a few more precautions than they did in the past.

Just to say!


Visit Expedia…

Expedia is my favorite place to book airfare, and they handle hotels, car rentals, cruises, etc. I like the organization of the site for figuring out what flights I want. Click on the suitcase to take a look.

I was very pleased to win an award for this blog! Even better for you: click through for lists of all sorts of award-winning travel blogs.

Tripbase Blog Awards 2009

Tripbase Blog Awards 2009

June 11, 2009 – I’ve been re-reading this entire website as I transferred all the articles to the new format, and I noticed that the levels of danger that people talk about now weren’t on my radar at all several years ago. That is, questions of drug cartels and the like that the American press does report in great detail.

I’ve come across three articles that I think are pertinent. I’ll give them to you in the order that I found them. If you want to cut to the chase, just read the last one.

First, here is an article titled Living with Mexico’s Trauma of Insecurity which is by a Mexican professor who lives in Mexico City and states, “To live in Mexico is to be permanently on alert.”  He tells some stories that would put me on alert too.  This is a disquieting article and not one to be lightly dismissed.

Next, I happened to find an article on the drug wars by an American who lives in a small city, Lerdo, in Durango.  This is no expat haven; Rolly Brook lives with a Mexican family and is up on what is going on around him. His site is widely respected and cited by other expats for its information on many details of Mexican law and culture.

Here’s  his take on the drug wars going on around there. This is a long post and when I was there, it had last been updated this April. It tells many tales, not one of which makes me want to go to Lerdo.

But there is also another page on Rolly’s site which I think is important: his page on personal safety and crime. He gives some statistics on how foreigners have died, other than of natural causes. He comments on the drug wars and goes on to talk about other things you need to take into account, like police misconduct. pickpockets, and more.

Those of us expats who live in the Lake Chapala area do seem to experience more attempted breakins to our houses and cars than we did a while back. Generally, the thieves are unarmed, but not always. They use tricks to distract their victims at times, like pointing at your tire as you are driving, so you think it is going flat. This one they seem to use with solitary women driving along.

Still, compare that to the places most of us came from in the US… Actually, it would be interesting to dig out some statistics comparing crime in Mexico and the US. Of course, not all crimes are reported here… oops, I’m starting that article! Enough for now. Readers, your comments are most welcome on this difficult topic.

2 Responses to “How Dangerous Is Mexico?”

  • Deena says:

    Recently, there was a Forbes article online – “The 15 Most Dangerous US Cities.” Based on police reports from 2008, the following cities/metropolitan area had between 71 – 122 crimes (murder,rape, violent robberies, and violent assaults) per 10,000 people (the size of Ajijic). They gave as two of the main reasons: Mexican drug portals and property abandonment.

    Starting with the worst: Detroit, Memphis, Miami, Las Vegas, Stockton, Orlando, Little Rock, Charleston, Nashville, Baltimore, New Orleans, West Palm Beach, Charlotte, Philadelphia.

    After five years of living in a somewhat isolated spot of San Antonio Tlay., I know the local Chapala police rarely respond to calls to come to our area for the drugging/drinking etc at the lakefront – once they asked where the street was and another time after four hours they said they were too busy to come – a chain was recently put across the access road to the lake and at least once a week it is broken/removed. The other day five of us called the fire department – they never came.

    I accept the fact that when you live here you must take total responsibility for your own security.

    So I have nine dogs, and I am thankful that cement doesn’t burn. My few good pieces of jewelry are “buried” except for what I wear, and I don’t keep money in the house – and it sure doesn’t stay in my wallet long. I have no other fast-track pawnable items. A gambler once told me that if you can’t afford to lose it, then don’t play the game.

    The one time my wall was breached about six months after moving here, I got more dogs – some are outside, some are inside, and the dobes are paraded thru town once a week.

    With the recent rash of robberies due to the economic mess, our street has started a neighborhood watch of sorts. Since there is only one way in/out, by exchanging phone numbers we figured we can warn one another of suspicious activity or get help, and thereby have a little control over our mutual fate.

  • Rosana says:

    Thanks very much, Deena. Readers, here is the link to that Forbes article, though really she has summarized it:


How to Learn Spanish
Here is an ebook I wrote on HOW to learn Spanish...
Get Your Free Ebook,
Five Keys to Learning Spanish Rapidly
By Rosana Hart

Please sign up here.

Your Email:
Your First Name:
Of course, there's no obligation and
your email will never be shared or rented.