Crime in Mexico
Crime in Mexico is often violent and is considered at a higher level in Mexico City, Tijuana, Juarez, Nuevo Laredo, Monterrey, and Acapulco, with other metropolitan areas having lower levels, but serious nonetheless. Unfortunately, Mexico has a low apprehension along with low conviction rate, which adds to the already high overall crime generated within the country. Kidnapping is practiced at alarmingly high rates throughout the country in the major cities which is not only limited to the upper class.
Assaults along the highways are common and foreigners are advised to execute precautions while traveling at night, or along long stretches of highways that are not heavily traveled. Practicing common sense is the rule and it is not advised to hitchhike or travel alone in Mexico. Bus travel has also come under the threat of armed robbery and it is not uncommon for entire busses to be held up along the toll roads throughout the country. Up to date embassy reports are available to the traveler, which can caution the routes that are commonly used for these assaults.
Common street crime is high and considered a serious problem throughout all of the major cities especially in the resort areas. Tijuana, Acapulco, Mazatlan, Cancun and even Cabo San Lucas have been known to be havens for drug dealers and smaller, out of the way bars should be avoided.
Extortion has been and continues to be a common problem in Mexico including harassment and mistreatment by law officials or persons claiming to be police officers. Always ask for identification and make sure you carry identification and all of your papers are in order to avoid having to give mordita or a bribe that is illegal in Mexico which could further complicate issues. If this occurs, you will need to report the name and badge number of the officer along with the patrol car license number if they are to effectively process your complaint.
Mexico City leads the way in street crimes with most crimes involving tourists being armed robbery, pick pockets and purse snatching. Criminals often dress up like police officers and have been know to stop and search cars while assaulting tourists walking late at night.
Taxi robberies are also common so it would be wise to only enter a taxi that has been called for in advance from your hotel and definitely only use airport taxis which are paid for in advance at special booths and carry a special airplane symbol along with a white and yellow stripe.
Border towns are especially dangerous and along with petty theft, drug related shootings during the daytime have become common at busy intersections.