Today I am finishing the post I started yesterday comparing crime and safety between Belize, (where I used to live) to Mahahual, Mexico, ( where I live now).
I used the U.S. Department of State website to get information and statistics concerning crime in Belize, and also Mexico. Yesterday I shared this information concerning Belize, and today I will include what the website says about Mexico. I will also share my personal insights and experiences like I did yesterday.
The USA media is constantly trashing Mexico, and because of this many people think Mexico is unsafe. Every day when I work at the port I have tourists off the cruise ships ask me if it is safe to leave the port and their cruise ships, and go into town. I tell them all the same thing, you are safer in Mahahual, Mexico than you are at home in the USA, statistically. There is practically no violent crime in Costa Maya and Mahahual, which you cannot say about Belize. In fact Mahahual is the safest place I have ever lived in my life.
Below is a report from USA Department of State, concerning crime in Quintana Roo, the state in which Mahahual is located.
The Yucatan Peninsula — Campeche, Quintana Roo, and Yucatan states — has not suffered the same level of escalating violence seen in other parts of Mexico; however, there is some narco-related violence that affects Cancun (usually not in the Hotel Zone/tourist area). There is no evidence that indicates that criminals specifically target American citizens. The victims of non-narco related crime traditionally are chosen based on appearance, vulnerability, and inattentiveness.
Quintana Roo, due to its many tourist destinations, reports the most crimes that affect American citizens. Quintana Roo has seen an increase in the number of American citizens reporting to be the victims of sexual assaults. A majority of these assaults are reported in the Cancun and Playa del Carmen areas.
There are no known indigenous terrorist groups in the Yucatan. Additionally, where in many parts of Mexico the lines are clearly defined on what Transnational Criminal Organizations (TCOs) control certain parts of the country (and where it is not clear there is often headline grabbing violence), it is difficult to state definitively which TCO is in control of this part of the country.
There is no evidence to suggest that international terrorist groups are operating in the Yucatan. The Yucatan is widely reported to be a trafficking route for Caribbean immigrants, and these same trafficking routes could be exploited by international terrorist groups.
Mexico is well known for its illegal drug trade and the corruption the industry fosters. The Yucatan is strategically close to narcotic smuggling routes of Central America and parts of the Caribbean. Most of the violent crimes reported over the last 12 months are the result of various narco-trafficking groups fighting for control of these smuggling routes.
As you can see from this report Mahahual and Quintana Roo are not listed as dangerous by the USA State Department, which you cannot say about Belize. I have written numerous articles in the past concerning crime and safety in this part of Mexico in the past. I have read and looked at all the statistics, and violent crime and murders are almost non-existent in Mahahual.
You are safe to walk the streets in Mahahual at night, which you cannot say about Belize. I ride my bike at night and go everywhere, and feel very safe, which I did not feel in Belize. In Mahahual I see children walking around at night, and even going to the store and running errands for their parents, which you never see in Belize.
Of course there is crime and violence in Mexico, but it is usually concerning the drug traffic and all the problems that go with it. All along the border with the USA and Mexico a lot of violent crime and murders occur, but there is nothing like that in this part of the country.
In Mahahual, the Mexican Navy patrols the beaches and the port, and there is also local and state police, so there is some form of law enforcement at all times in Mahahual.
In Mahahual people camp out and sleep on the beach all the time, and are safe, you can’t say that about Belize. If you slept on the beach in Belize, if you woke up, you would be stripped clean of your clothes and all your belongings.
In Mahahual there may be a break-in now and then, and you have have a guy get drunk on a Saturday night and beat his wife, but that is about all the crime we have there. I have been there almost four years, and I can say I have not heard of any murders or acts of violence. One reason is the Mayan people are very docile, and non-violent compared to people from the USA. Also everybody knows everybody because it is such a small village, and that in itself I think is a reason there is no violent crime. People seem to look out for one and another in Mahahual.
In fact, I will go out on a limb here and say, Mahahual is probably the safest place in all of Mexico, and the Caribbean for that matter.
In all my time in Mahahual, I have not once felt unsafe, or scared for my safety at any time, (Except for a couple of women I have made mad). I go anywhere day or night, usually by myself in Mahahual, and I have even ridden my bike home at 2 or 3 in the morning with no concerns or fears. The people in Mahahual are very friendly and helpful, and are not threatening in any way.
So if you are thinking about living or retiring on the Caribbean, Mahahual is much safer and more free of crime than Belize, and a much nicer place to live.
You do not have to take my word for it, you can do your own research, and you will be surprised how safe Mexico and the Mexican Caribbean is, and especially Mahahual.
Thanks for reading,
Stewart Rogers USA-South Carolina