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How safe is it to live in Mexico?

Is Mexico a safe place to move or travel to?

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When my sister and her husband decided to move to Mexico, they had people asking them the usual questions. Are you crazy?! Is it safe? What about the crime? Haven't you heard about the shootings and killings?

I am happy to report that they are still alive and well, and if my recent visit is anything to go by, living it up in paradise.

So then where do these reports of rampant theft, killing and brutal crime come from? Less than responsible media coverage is one source.

The Stats

For a perspective on how much crime there really is in Mexico, let's look at the stats:

Recent government reports have drawn attention to the drug wars among Mexican cartels, highlighting 34,000 deaths over a period of four years. But 90% of these killings are cited as "gang executions", which means that at the most 10%, or around 3000, are others killed in the wars that may not be directly involved in the drug wars. Still alarming, perhaps, till a comparison is made with the United States. Remember, the above stats represent a 4-year period.

The States

Here are figures released by FBI's Uniform Crime Reports:

There were 65 murders in Las Vegas alone in just the first six months of 2010. Detroit? 146 in the same period. New York - 229, and LA - 154. These are just the figures of 4 cities. Incidentally, the four cities also totaled 5,536 rapes and 23,263 aggravated assaults in that six-month period.

Staying Safe

Whether you are moving to Mexico, or just going for a visit, always err on the side of caution. Living or traveling in Mexico, or anywhere else for that matter, should be undertaken with some measure of common sense. The killings in Mexico we hear in reports almost exclusively involve the drug trade. Border towns are the major trouble spots. Avoid the trouble areas, steer clear of drugs, and use common sense in your stay in Mexico, and you lessen the risks considerably.

Read more about Mexico Travel Safety

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