June 24, 2020
Born and raised in the U.S., permanent resident of Mexico since 2012.
How bad is crime in Mexico? Would an American feel safe retiring there for the lower cost of living? Crime in Mexico is bad; if all you look at is the statistics, and don’t go any further. But as the saying goes, “There are lies, damnable lies, and statistics.” Most norteamericanos, look primarily at the homicide rate in various places in Mexico and, without any further thought, just conclude that Mexico a dangerous place and should be avoided.
But the reality is that the high rate of homicides in Mexico is due primarily to wars between rival drug gangs, or the gangs seeking to take out those that would thwart their efforts. If you are not involved with the drug gangs, you are unlikely to be a target. As a retiree living in Mexico, and not involving yourself with drugs or the gangs that sell them, you are likely as safe as you are in most places in the U.S.
Otherwise, just use common sense; as you would anywhere else. Don’t wear a lot of flashy jewelry or wave around large wads of cash. Avoid the sketchier parts of town (whatever town you happen to be in, all towns have sketchy parts), particularly after dark. And just be polite when interacting with others.
I have been living in Mexico for almost eight years now. I feel at least as safe here as I felt when living in the U.S.