Debunking 10 Common Myths: The Truth about Safety in Mexico City

Sandra Thomas
Sandra Thomas 14 Min Read

Mexico City is a vibrant metropolis rich in culture, history, and cuisine. However, it’s often plagued by negative stereotypes and misconceptions about its safety.

Negative stereotypes and misconceptions largely influence current perceptions of safety in Mexico City. The city has a reputation as one of the most dangerous cities in the world, plagued by crime, drug cartels, and violent gangs. Media reports of sensational crimes and incidents have reinforced this perception.

Many people avoid visiting this magnificent city because of these widespread myths. In this article, we’ll debunk ten of the most common myths about Mexico City safety and show you the truth about this exciting destination. So pack up your bags and get ready to discover the real Mexico City – a city that is safe, welcoming, and full of life!

Debunking Myths about Safety in Mexico City

Mexico City is a vibrant center of culture, history, and gastronomy that offers a unique experience to travelers worldwide. Unfortunately, Mexico City is also a city plagued by negative stereotypes and misconceptions, especially when it comes to safety. Let us debunk some of the most common myths.

Mexico City Is One of the Most Dangerous Cities in the World

If you’ve heard that Mexico City is one of the most dangerous cities in the world, it’s important to know that this is a misconception. In fact, recent statistics show that Mexico City ranks 35th on the list of the most dangerous cities in the world, with a lower homicide rate than other Latin American cities such as Caracas, Venezuela, and San Pedro Sula, Honduras.

Mexico City has also made significant strides in improving the safety of residents and visitors. The government has increased police presence and installed security cameras in high-risk areas. In addition, the city has implemented the Safe City” program to promote safety through community engagement and education.

It’s also worth noting that Mexico City is a vibrant and culturally rich destination with abundant tourist attractions. There are countless reasons to visit this vibrant metropolis, from historical sites to museums and art galleries to world-renowned cuisine. So, if you’re considering a trip to Mexico City, you can be sure it’s a safe and exciting destination.

Kidnapping Is Rampant in Mexico City

If you’re concerned about kidnappings in Mexico City, you should know that this is a myth perpetuated by negative media coverage. The kidnapping rate in Mexico City is much lower than in other major Latin American cities such as Caracas and San Pedro Sula.

In addition, the Mexican government has taken several measures to combat kidnapping. For example, a new law was introduced in 2012 that makes kidnapping a federal crime and provides stricter penalties for those guilty of this offense. There is also a specialized police unit, the Anti-Kidnapping Unit, dedicated to preventing and investigating kidnappings.

Although there is still a risk of kidnapping in some parts of the country, the risk in Mexico City is relatively low. So don’t let this myth stop you from exploring this vibrant city’s many amazing cultural, culinary, and natural attractions.

It’s Not Safe to Use Public Transportation in Mexico City

If you want to use public transportation during your trip to Mexico City, you can count on the city’s robust system of buses, subways, and commuter trains. Millions of locals and tourists use this system every day without any problems. In addition, the Mexican government has taken several measures to increase public transportation safety in the city.

The government has invested in new technologies to improve safety, such as security cameras and GPS tracking systems. The city has also introduced a new traffic safety program that has increased police presence in vulnerable areas and improved security at transport hubs.

Although there are risks associated with using public transportation in any major city, the overall level of safety in Mexico City is comparable to that of other major cities worldwide.

Tourists Are Frequent Targets for Crime in Mexico City

Mexico City is considered safe for tourists, and the notion that they’re frequent victims of crime is a common misconception, often spread by negative media reports. Although crime can occur anywhere, including Mexico City, most visitors don’t experience any problems during their stay.

Recent data shows that the crime rate in Mexico City has decreased in recent years. In addition, the Mexican government has taken several measures to improve visitor safety, such as sending additional police officers to tourist areas and establishing a tourist police force.

To further minimize risk, it’s recommended that you take basic safety precautions, such as avoiding isolated areas, being aware of your surroundings, and not flaunting valuables. Using registered cabs or ride-hailing services rather than unlicensed cabs is also advisable.

Only Certain Areas of Mexico City Are Safe

The myth that only certain areas in Mexico City are safe is a common misconception that can prevent visitors from exploring all the city offers. While it’s true that there are some neighborhoods and areas that are more prone to crime than others, this doesn’t mean that the rest of the city is unsafe.

Mexico City is a large and diverse metropolis with many neighborhoods and attractions. You can explore the historic center, where many of the city’s cultural attractions are located, or visit trendy neighborhoods like Condesa or Roma, known for their art galleries, restaurants, and nightlife. You can also enjoy the outdoor markets and parks, such as Chapultepec Park, one of the largest city parks in the world.

As for safety, the crime rate is higher in some parts of the city than in others. However, the Mexican government has taken measures to increase security in these areas.

The Police Force in Mexico City Is Corrupt and Unreliable

If you’re planning a trip to Mexico City, you may have heard the myth that the police force there is corrupt and unreliable. This can cause a sense of unease and make you question the safety of your visit.

However, it’s important to note that while there have been issues in the past, the Mexican government has implemented reforms to improve the situation. The police force is undergoing reform, including deploying additional officers in high-crime areas and establishing a special tourist police force.

Response times to emergency calls have improved, and a new system for reporting crimes has been implemented to increase transparency and accountability. While there may still be instances of corruption or inefficiency, overall, the police force in Mexico City is working to become more reliable and trustworthy.

By reporting any issues or concerns to the appropriate authorities, you can contribute to a safer and more reliable police force in Mexico City.

Mexico City Is Full of Drug Cartels and Violent Gangs

If you’re considering a trip to Mexico City, you may have heard the myth that the city is full of drug cartels and violent gangs. This myth can create unnecessary fear and discourage people from visiting. However, the truth is that drug cartel activity and gang violence in Mexico City are not as prevalent as you might think.

The Mexican government has implemented measures to combat organized crime, which has decreased crime rates in recent years. Additionally, most gang violence in Mexico City is related to local disputes rather than organized crime. As a visitor to the city, you are unlikely to encounter these conflicts unless you venture into certain neighborhoods or engage in risky behavior.

There have indeed been instances of drug cartel activity and gang violence in some areas of the city. However, these incidents are not as widespread as the myth suggests. You can enjoy all the city offers without undue concern by exercising caution and staying in safe areas.

Mexico City Is Not Safe for Solo Female Travelers

Unfortunately, the myth that Mexico City is not safe for solo female travelers is common, and it can deter women from visiting the city alone. However, this is simply not true. While taking precautions and being aware of your surroundings is important, Mexico City can be a safe destination for solo female travelers.

In recent years, the Mexican government has taken steps to improve safety and reduce crime in the city. Many resources are also available to help women feel more secure, such as women-only taxis and police officers trained to assist female travelers.

It’s important to note that street harassment and catcalling can be common in Mexico City, but this is not unique and can happen in any destination. You can minimize potential risks by being aware of your surroundings and taking common-sense precautions, such as avoiding walking alone at night and dressing modestly.

Crime Rates in Mexico City Are on the Rise

Do you believe that crime rates in Mexico City are on the rise? This is a common myth that has been perpetuated by sensationalist media coverage. However, the reality is that crime rates in Mexico City have remained relatively stable in recent years.

In fact, according to data from the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI), crime rates in Mexico City have actually decreased slightly over the past few years. For example, in 2019, there were 21.9 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants in Mexico City, compared to 24.8 in 2018.

Of course, this is not to say that there is no crime in Mexico City, as in any large city, there are always risks associated with certain areas and activities. However, it is crucial to be aware of the actual trend of crime rates in the city to make informed decisions.

Mexico City Is Not Worth Visiting Due to Safety Concerns

If you’re considering traveling to Mexico City, you may have heard the myth that the city is not worth visiting due to safety concerns. However, this myth couldn’t be further from the truth.

Mexico City is a vibrant, culturally rich city with many attractions and experiences to offer its visitors. The city has rich history and culture and is home to world-famous museums, incredible food, and a thriving art and music scene.

In terms of safety, Mexico City has made significant strides in recent years to improve security measures, and safety concerns should not deter visitors. The city has increased police presence and implemented measures to combat crime, decreasing crime rates in many areas.

Visiting Mexico City can also have many benefits, including immersing yourself in a different culture, learning about the country’s history, and connecting with locals. The city offers much, from exploring ancient ruins to delicious cuisine.


Mexico City is a vibrant and exciting destination that offers visitors a rich cultural experience, delicious cuisine, and a warm and welcoming atmosphere. While safety concerns can be valid for travelers, it is important to separate fact from fiction and not let common myths deter you from visiting this incredible city.

With proper precautions and an open mind, you can safely and confidently explore all Mexico City offers. So, start planning your next adventure in Mexico City today.

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Sandra Thomas is a passionate and seasoned travel blogger with over a decade of experience in the industry. Hailing from the beautiful city of Seattle, she has ventured to more than 70 countries and six continents, capturing the hearts and minds of her readers with her vivid storytelling and engaging content.
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