Mexico City - Post Report Question and Answers

Are there personal security concerns to be aware of at this post? Please describe.

Same as any big city. - Jan 2024

Security is a real issue throughout Mexico. Anything from petty theft to assaults and worse. Generally, the tourist areas where we spend time are safe and well-patrolled by tourist police. I've heard that extortion by police happens fairly frequently in tourist areas. There are off-limits areas throughout the country, and the security office is clear about where those are. - Jul 2023

Random crime, like any big city. The country has a number of restricted areas, but RSO is good about publicizing what they are. - Apr 2021

Mexico City is a criminal crime post, and there are some areas of the city which are off-limits. That said, I still feel very comfortable walking around Polanco, but with precautions. I avoid wearing jewelry, I don't carry around large amounts of cash, I don't use ATMs at night, etc. The RSO here is very helpful in answering any questions people have about how to stay safe in the midst of this heightened level of crime. - May 2020

Petty crime, but the same types of petty crimes that we would experience in our home country. - Apr 2019

Earthquakes. - Apr 2019

Typically big city crime: petty theft, pick pocketing, etc. The area has the potential to be high crime, though we haven't experienced it much. - Jun 2018

Yes, definitely. Pay attention in your security briefing, and never, ever take a taxi unless you are 100% sure it's reputable. Pickpocketing is common. More serious crimes can and do occur even in Polanco. - May 2017

Yes! Lots. With that said, if you're aware of your surroundings, take simple precautions (if you have an alarm system in your home, use it), and follow your instincts you'll be fine. Leave your diamonds at home. Don't walk after dark with headphones on. Don't flash large amounts of cash. Pretty basic stuff. Be careful crossing streets! Cars to not cede right of way to pedestrians, which can take some getting used to. - Sep 2016

If you go to markets, dress down. Flashy laptops, phones and wrist watches can be targets for robbers (especially in public transportation). If anyone stops you and shows a weapon, just give them what they want. Use Uber and not local taxis. I have had no security problems. Just be street smart. - Jun 2016

Sure, you should exercise caution and not wear jewelry. Don't bring a flashy car. - May 2016

Yes, there are security problems here in Mexico. There are kidnappings, robberies, and murders. Driving is very dangerous. - May 2016

Mexico City is considered a critical threat post according to the US Department of State. Crime in the news is a daily highlight. We have yet to experience anything negative at all, but keep in mind you are in a huge city. - May 2016

We were really worried about that before coming to Mexico. Everyone said "aren't you worried you'll get kidnapped?" I have been so pleasantly surprised that I generally feel pretty safe--just like in any big U.S. city, you need to be aware, but as long as you keep a low profile you should be fine. The reports I've heard about muggings, etc in the neighborhood always seem to be for people's watches, jewelry, phones, etc. Mexicans "dress up" more than we do in the U.S. so I make a point to not look too fancy when I go out (no jewelry) and have had no issues. Most women leave their diamond rings at home (me included) and just wear a simple wedding band. I feel safe enough to walk 20 minutes to take my kids to the playground and I go grocery shopping by car after dark. There are some locations in Mexico that we are not allowed to travel to but we have been able to go everywhere we have wanted and then some. - Oct 2014

Robbery at gun point happens frequently and not just in rough neighborhoods or at ATMs. RSO is constantly reminding us of not to wear flashy jewelry (even though the Mexicans do so but then they also have an armed bodygard too) and to not use public ATMs. Not too long ago, an employee was walking down a heavily traffic'd street, on a Sunday in the early afternoon and had a gun pulled out on him for his watch. Also not too long ago, an employee's spouse was hit in the face when she didn't give her purse. DEA agents - beware...the cartels will come after you; several agents had to relocate from one apartment to another. - Aug 2014

Yes - and we had many reminders of that from the U.S. government. That said, I didn't feel unsafe in Mexico City once I knew the hang of things. Robbery is a real threat. I did not wear a wedding ring or carry valuables. Many people had iPhones; I carried mine everywhere. There were several armed robberies sort of near our home while we were there. The only people harmed were those who resisted and wouldn't turn over their possessions. But as with many big cities, you learn how to get around, what is normal/abnormal, how to stay safe. "Libre" taxis (those you flag down on the street, as opposed to those you call or find at a dedicated "sitio" taxi stand, are said to have a high(er) incidence of robbery. I never took one because they are prohibited for USG employees so I can't speak to that. All in all, there are concerns about safety but I never saw/experienced them in my day-to-day life. - Apr 2014

Yes. Mexico City is a high risk area just like any other big cities in the world. You always have to be aware of your surroundings and avoid places that the security officer told you not to go to. Petty thieves are abound so don't wear your diamond ring around. Stay low profile. - Mar 2014

The embassy security team never ceases to remind you that this is still a high-threat country where crime is a serious concern. I think that's true, though I have to admit I never once felt unsafe, not even at late hours. No one even looked at me the wrong way. Now granted I did not go to dangerous areas (embassy folks are not allowed), but the restaurant/neighborhood areas (Polanco, Santa Fe, Condesa, Roma, Zona Rosa, San Angel, Coyoacan) are all pretty reliably safe, and my friends all said the same. That being said, there are plenty of places downtown which would not qualify under the 'safe' category, and one must always be paying attention lest you wander aimlessly into a sketchier neighborhood. Everyone should follow basic street and city-safety practices. If you leave your luggage unattended, someone will probably steal it. If you look lost, someone will probably take advantage of you. Also, U.S. embassy employees are not currently allowed to visit 2 hours west of Mexico City (the state of Michoacan) and anything north of the state of Guanajuato - but this really did not hinder our travels any. We still didn't have time to see everything on our bucket list. - Dec 2013

El DF surprised us for being more safe that we had heard. You can walk in Polanco (where a lot of diplomats live) or other areas (Condesa, Downtown, Coyoacan) without a problem. Downtown Mexico City is fairly empty at night, so it is best enjoyed during the day. As always, it's good to be cautious and to not look too much like a foreigner (shorts, etc). - Jul 2013

I have never felt any threat against me or my family. We've heard horror stories, but for the most part if you use your good sense and tale precautions, there are no serious threats. - Jan 2013

Mexico is a very poor country for the most part, so keep an eye on your wallet. Violent crime is minimal, mostly petty theft to worry about. - Jan 2013

As any other big city, but not as bad as the press writes. We took buses and the metro in full security. - May 2012

Minor theft by domestic help is the norm. Occasional harassment by cops (hoping for tips) tends to happen to those with nice cars--especially if they don't have diplomatic plates. Kidnapping and mugging are to be watched out for, though I experienced neither. Gate-guarded communities are the rule for both business and diplomatic personnel. - Apr 2011

Be aware. Use common sense, as crime exists as in any big city. Use only registered (sitio) taxis; no ATM at night, etc. We heard a lot of horror stories but did not encounter any major issues. - Apr 2010

Yes, you have to becarful with Taxes, you have to call the taxi companies to ride one, you ca't just flg them down in the street, avoid Zona Rosa this area full of bars and night club, but not safe, aslo pick which area you go to or avoid. - Feb 2010

Yes - random crime, even in nice areas. The drug war doesn't seem to have affected Mexico City much. - Jan 2010

We left in June 2008. We drove everywhere, went everywhere, and never had problems. We felt safe. We just kept our antennae out for simple crime like pickpockets, etc., but nothing more. The wealthy Mexicans are more of a crime target than embassy personnel. - Mar 2009

Mexico has a lot of security concerns. Lots of kidnappings, petty thefts, carjackings. It is imperative to be aware of your surroundings at all times. - Nov 2008

The drug war has gotten hotter since we arrived. Also, the incidences of virtual and true kidnappings are on the rise. They do not seem to be targeting expats, but they are also not that particular - anyone with more money than them will do. - Oct 2008

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