Ciudad Juarez - Post Report Question and Answers

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

Yes. This was the most dangerous city on the planet 8 years ago. Baghdad and Kabul have surpassed us now, but it's still dangerous. Plenty of gangs and narcos. - Feb 2023

There are large parts of the city you are not allowed to go to because of high crime. There has been violence close to the consulate, however, it's usually targeted to a specific individual. - Mar 2022

There is some cartel violence, however, Americans are not the target. There are zones of the city we are not allowed to go to, which tend to be the more violent areas, but they aren’t places most Americans want/need to go anyway. I feel comfortable wearing jewelry in public and see Mexican women leaving their purses on empty chairs in restaurants. People need to be aware, as much as they would in any other city. The security situation is what you make of it. It can dictate your life and force you to stay inside if you let it, or you can proceed with appropriate caution and explore what Juarez has to offer. - Jun 2019

Yes. We have no-go zones and shootings throughout the city, although they are targeted. - Feb 2019

Yes. There is a lot of violence related to gang activity and cartels. Even in areas considered "safe", violence occurs. - Jan 2019

Well, yes. Ciudad Juarez is doing MUCH better than it was during 2008-2011 when it was the murder capital of the world, but it does still have a pretty high homicide rate. I never really felt unsafe, though. When you arrive, the Regional Security Office (RSO) will give you a map with the "Green Zone" marked on it. The rest of the city is the "red zone," and you have to get RSO approval before venturing into those parts of town. There are many churches, stores, and schools in the green zone, and if you ever want to stretch your legs farther, you can also hop over to El Paso. - Jun 2016

Yes. It is better than it used to be, but there is still high crime. I never felt targeted or threatened, but I was constantly reminded that it remains a dangerous city. Murders took place during my years there at just about everywhere I would go in the city (Wal-mart, Home Depot, grocery store, outside a gated community where consulate folks live, the mall, the movie theater, etc etc). These were typically gangs and assassinations. But there is always the fear of being at the wrong place at the wrong time. - Apr 2016

I was single and went out fairly often. I dated local Mexicans, went to bars, restaurants, house parties and BBQs. I always tried to stay very aware of my surroundings, especially alone at night driving back into Juarez from El Paso and never felt scared, per se, just much more cautious than I would be in other cities. I certainly stood out - there are not many Americans in Juarez that aren't there because of the Consulate - but I never felt threatened or targeted in any way. I relied on RSO's robust and often updated guidance and took cues from my local friends on what bars/restaurants were considered 'safe' (and others they would tell me were not a place anyone should go). Basically, my approach was to be aware but to really get out and get to know Juarez. I am so glad I did, I have great memories. - Apr 2016

There are definitely security concerns in Juarez, although day-to-day life does not feel dangerous. There seems to be less petty crime here, at least in the areas we frequent and the neighborhoods in which we live, than there was where we lived in Dallas. But the cartel-related violence is still an issue in Juarez and still something to be aware of. Awareness can be a challenge, though, because it does truly feel very safe - and then you'll read about a cartel murder or abduction and remember it's not as safe as it feels. In our experience so far, though, following RSO advice, maintaining vigilance, and staying out of areas we're supposed to stay out of has meant a very peaceful time. There are parts of town we are instructed not to enter and unfortunately that does include the more historic downtown areas. There are periodic tours arranged, though, for Consulate personnel/families, and taking advantage of these opportunities provides the opportunity to enjoy those parts of the city at least on a limited basis. - Dec 2015

yes part of the city is off limits to travel - but again with El Paso so close you can access anything you'd like. Only that you miss out on the 'culture' of the country/town because of the restrictions. - Aug 2015

Yes. The security situation now (in 2015) seems to have improved compared to the situation in 2011 (for example). That being said, the gym I belonged to, across the street from the Consulate, the most high-end gym at the time, a gunman entered the gym and shot three people in the middle of the day. Consulate employees are no longer allowed to attend the gym. So, there is danger pay for a reason. Follow what the RSO says and you'll be fine. There are areas that you cannot go to in Juarez and areas that you can. There are some GREAT restaurants and bars in the areas that you can go to--and you should go! Experience the city that you live in! It's just important to always be aware of your surroundings. - Jun 2015

Yes. American shouldn't engage in risky behavior in Mexico. No guns, no drunken carousing except at home. The same level of random and opportunistic violence as elsewhere. That's for Americans-- Mexicans are at far greater risk. - Jun 2014

Random violence, most cartel related. - Aug 2013

Narco violence remains an issue, though the situation is improving daily. Car jackings and kidnappings are common. - Aug 2013

Obviously, Ciudad Juarez has significant security concerns because of the drug wars and gang violence, but the violence seems to be trending down. Most consulate employees regularly enjoy socializing with local staff and local restaurants, clubs, bars, movie theaters, golf courses, etc. There is the occasional random act of violence, but there are neighborhoods and places you know to avoid. - Jun 2013

Plenty. The all-out war between rival drug cartels seems to be a lull. However, carjackings and home invasions are still very common. - Sep 2012

Yes. There is a lot going on in this city. That being said, we take precautions and are careful. Also, I think that because we are here as a family with children, it doesn't effect us as much. We wouldn't be going out to bars and clubs anyways. Also, even though I was prepared to take cover the first time we drove in here, I haven't ever felt like I was in danger while I've been out and about. Also, I really like my neighborhood, it is safe. - Feb 2012

Over 3,000 people were murdered here last year. Most of the violence in contained within the cartels and their associates, but innocent people are more and more likely to be caught in the wrong place at the wrong time or mistaken for someone else. Other crimes, like carjackings and burglaries have also increased dramatically. There’s a certain level of nervousness that never quite goes away. - Jul 2011

Yes - Jun 2011

In 2008, 1,602 people were murdered - mostly narcotraffickers. 2009 is looking to be worse. Since police keep quitting, or being killed, the overall crime rate is rising. There are armed robberies in front of the Consulate. 2008 saw over 1,600 carjackings. Not many people go out in the city, but some are willing to take their chances. - Mar 2009

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