10 Most Dangerous Cities In Mexico 2023: In the Line of Fire

most dangerous cities in mexico

Undoubtedly, Mexico, located to the south of the United States, is a country with significant geographic diversity, touching the Pacific Ocean on the west and sharing its southern boundary with Guatemala.

With an approximate population of 132,809,000, the country often faces unjust criticism.

Contrary to the common misconceptions, millions of people who’ve experienced Mexico’s splendors would affirm it is much more than its negative portrayals.

Mexico boasts stunning vacation spots such as Cancun and Playa Grande, and it is rich with historical treasures like the Tulon Ruins and the Aztec’s Templo Mayor, demonstrating its myriad positive aspects.

Nonetheless, Mexico, like all nations, grapples with its share of issues.

The ominous shadow cast by drug cartels and organized criminal activities, including human trafficking, is significant.

In the year 2021, the country was struck by over 43,900 homicides and 625 incidents of kidnapping.

A recent survey by Gallup unveiled that merely 48% of Mexicans feel secure in their localities during nighttime.

Warnings about potential hazards to American tourists in Mexican locales have been issued intermittently by the United States.

In a grim incident in March 2023, four American tourists were abducted, with two subsequently found slain.

People intending to visit Mexico for a holiday are thus advised to exercise vigilance and prudence.

Given this context, it might be wise to steer clear of the following ten cities in Mexico that have been identified as the most hazardous.

These rankings are derived from statistics concerning homicide rates, government alerts, and general accounts of criminal activities from residents and visitors.

Top 10 Unsafe Places 

City Population Overall Crime Rate (Per 100,000) Homicide Rate (Per 100,000)
Obregon, Mexico 436,400 93 135
Uruapan, Mexico 356,700 89 78
Culiacan, Mexico 808,400 84 61
Coatzacoalcos, Mexico 320,000 92 48
Irapuato, Mexico 342,500 90 81
Cancun 888.900 85 64
Juarez, Mexico 1,500,000 79 86
Victoria, Mexico 380,000 80 86
Acapulco, Mexico 780,000 74 111
Tijuana, Mexico 2,050,000 90 138

10. Obregon


Obregon, a city with 436,400 residents, is celebrated for its verdant mountains and delightful gastronomy.

However, these attributes are sadly eclipsed by pervasive criminal activity.

A general crime rate of 93 per 100,000 pervades the city, with prevalent incidents including muggings, carjackings, thefts, and illicit drug trade.

9. Uruapan


Uruapan, a sizeable city housing around 356,700 people, is steeped in history, dating back to 1533, and boasts appealing architecture and several bodies of water, including captivating waterfalls.

Despite these attractions, visitors are advised to maintain vigilance due to a crime rate of 89 per 100,000 residents.

Uruapan is marked by a significant amount of drug activity, leading to a surge in muggings, carjackings, and armed thefts.

Many establishments are clandestinely managed by drug peddlers, rendering even seemingly safe places risky.

A local survey revealed that only 22% of inhabitants feel safe walking around during the day.

8. Culiacan, Mexico

Culiacan Mexico

Culiacan, once a low-crime zone, has witnessed escalating crime rates in the last three years.

The general crime rate stands at 84 per 100,000 inhabitants.

The city is also a hotbed for cartel conflicts and was the epicenter of a lethal territorial battle after the arrest of Ovidio Guzman, the notorious kingpin El Chapo’s son.

The homicide rate in Culiacan is 61 per 100,000 people, indicating a precarious situation for residents and tourists.

7. Coatzacoalcos, Mexico


Coatzacoalcos, a critical port city located at the Gulf of Mexico’s southern tip, has an enriched history dating back to the 1500s.

Sadly, it also has a high overall crime rate of 92 per 100,000.

While the homicide rate is relatively low, there are elevated incidences of assaults, thefts, muggings, and drug dealing.

6. Irapuato, Mexico


While Irapuato is famed for its strawberry fields, corn, and chickpea crops, it is also a perilous territory for locals and visitors.

The previous year saw 81 homicides per 100,000 people.

The strife among drug cartels often ensnares innocent bystanders.

Horrifying footage of mass shootings at bars and clubs has surfaced, and the U.S. government discourages travel to Irapuato due to assaults, armed robberies, and kidnappings.

5. Cancun

Cancun, situated on the Caribbean Sea, has been a globally recognized holiday spot for years.

However, several recent events have tainted its reputation.

Even with a comparatively low homicide rate of 64 per 100,000 inhabitants, crimes linked to cartels have surged.

Crimes targeting tourists, including theft, assaults, and fraud, are increasingly common.

In response, the Mexican government has imposed regulations on Airbnb, bars, and nightclubs to bolster tourist safety.

Staying within the resort areas is highly recommended.

4. Juarez, Mexico

Juarez, Mexico

Juarez, with a population of 1.5 million, rests along the River Grande, adjacent to the Texas border.

Despite its rich cultural heritage, Juarez is infamous as a hub for drug trafficking, gun smuggling, and human trafficking.

The city’s murder rate is 86 per 100,000 people.

Visitors are strongly advised to move in groups, avoid isolated areas, and refrain from venturing out after dark.

Taxis and pickpockets pose specific risks.

3. Victoria, Mexico

Victoria Mexico

Victoria, with roughly 380,000 inhabitants, is a significant manufacturing center, producing auto parts, garments, and microchips, among others.

It’s primarily populated by industrious people, but it’s also a key conduit for drug cartels.

The city’s murder rate is 86 per 100,000 people due to frequent gang conflicts.

Street gangs are also common, leading to robberies and assaults on civilians.

2. Acapulco, Mexico

Acapulco, once a glamorous vacation spot, currently records the second-highest murder rate in Mexico, with 111 per 100,000 people.

The main reason is the many poppy fields in the surrounding Guerrero region.

There are 20 cartels vying for control of these fields to produce heroin.

The United States has barred government officials from visiting Acapulco due to the prevalent crime.

1. Tijuana, Mexico


Tijuana, bordering San Diego, California, often hosts day-trippers.

However, the reality for its 2,050,000 residents starkly contrasts with the tourist experience.

Formerly the wedding capital of Mexico, it’s now notorious for its murders and is among the world’s most dangerous cities.

In 2022, Tijuana witnessed over 2,000 murders, equivalent to 138 per 100,000 people.

The city is dominated by cartels that manufacture and distribute fentanyl, leading to rampant violence and crime.

Nonetheless, most day tourists report no issues.

Visitors should stick to heavily patrolled areas, maintain a low profile, and stay vigilant against scams.

Travel Precautions for Visiting Mexico

Exercise caution while hiring cars, calling a cab, or using Uber. Numerous scams revolve around these services.

If possible, opt for public transportation. It’s commendable in Mexico! Refrain from venturing outside resort regions after dark. Steer clear of demonstrations.

Besides the potential for them to become violent, it’s unlawful for foreigners to participate. You wouldn’t want to get entangled in Mexico’s legal system.

Avoid secluded locations. Stick with a crowd in areas that are populous and frequently patrolled.

Avoid drawing attention to yourself.

This entails not flaunting cash, not dressing excessively, not wearing a lot of jewelry, or appearing lost.


Why is Acapulco ranked as the second most dangerous city in Mexico?

Acapulco, once a popular tourist destination, has seen an upswing in crime rates, primarily due to its proximity to the Guerrero region. This area is known for its poppy fields, and approximately 20 cartels are vying for control of these fields to produce heroin.

The city’s murder rate stands at 111 per 100,000 people. The United States has barred government officials from visiting Acapulco due to the prevailing crime rate. Regions like Renacimiento and Ciudad Renacimiento are among the riskier neighborhoods in Acapulco.

Can you explain why Culiacan has seen a rise in crime in recent years?

Culiacan, a city that previously had a relatively low crime rate, has seen a surge in criminal activity over the past few years. The general crime rate stands at 84 per 100,000 residents. The escalation is mostly attributed to conflicts among cartels, especially following the arrest of Ovidio Guzman, the son of the infamous drug lord El Chapo. The city’s homicide rate is currently 61 per 100,000 people.

Are there safety concerns for tourists in Cancun?

Cancun, a city renowned for its beautiful resorts and vibrant nightlife, has experienced an increase in crime rates recently. While the homicide rate is relatively low at 64 per 100,000 inhabitants, there has been a surge in crimes associated with cartels.

Crimes targeting tourists, including theft, assault, and fraud, are increasingly common. However, if tourists remain within the resort areas, they’re generally considered safe. The Mexican government has also implemented regulations on Airbnb and nightclubs to enhance tourist safety.

What makes Uruapan a risky city to visit?

Uruapan, home to about 356,700 residents, faces high crime rates despite its rich historical background and beautiful architecture. The city’s crime rate is at 89 per 100,000 residents, and it’s marked by a significant amount of drug activity.

Muggings, carjackings, and armed thefts are common, with many establishments being secretly run by drug peddlers. It’s important to be cautious when visiting Uruapan and stay in areas that are well-populated and frequently patrolled.

What are the main reasons behind the high crime rate in Victoria?

Victoria, a significant manufacturing center, faces a considerable amount of criminal activity, despite the hard-working nature of its population. The city’s murder rate is 86 per 100,000 people, largely due to frequent gang conflicts.

Drug cartels also use Victoria as a critical conduit, and there are high incidences of street gangs that contribute to robberies and assaults on civilians. Visitors should be cautious when visiting Victoria, especially in neighborhoods such as the downtown area, which is known to be particularly risky.

Why is Coatzacoalcos considered a high-crime area?

Coatzacoalcos is a vital port city located at the southern tip of the Gulf of Mexico. Despite its enriched history dating back to the 1500s, it has a high overall crime rate of 92 per 100,000 residents.

While the homicide rate is relatively low compared to other cities, there are increased incidences of assaults, thefts, muggings, and drug dealing. The downtown area and old town neighborhoods are particularly dangerous and should be avoided when possible.

What are some dangerous neighborhoods in Tijuana?

Tijuana is the most populous city in Baja California and is unfortunately known for its high crime rate, particularly related to drug trafficking. Some areas to be especially cautious in include Zona Norte, also known as “La Coahuila” (the city’s red light district), and Zona Este due to high levels of criminal activity.

Final Words

In conclusion, while Mexico is undeniably a country of extraordinary beauty and culture, it is currently grappling with significant crime rates in various cities, primarily due to the activities of drug cartels.

Visitors are advised to exercise caution, conduct thorough research before their trip, and stay vigilant during their stay. It’s essential to remember that millions of people visit Mexico safely every year, and a well-planned trip can still lead to a rewarding and safe experience.

Related posts

Commendation for Anglers Who Removed Enormous Carp from Oklahoma Lake

Kane Dane

Florida Man Jumps on 12-Foot Gator’s Back to Free His Dog from The Reptile

Michael Rivera

Oklahoma’s Wildfire Catastrophe: Destruction, Devastation, and Bravery

Kane Dane