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Melanie Lansing of Mexico Insurance Advisors – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
US Department of State Logo – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingI find that the people who ask about crime rates in Mexico are those that are swayed by what they see on TV. The news media around the world, and especially in the US and Canada, continues to do a good job of portraying Mexico as a crime-ridden, violent nation. Those of us who live in Mexico and travel frequently here know that as with any nation, there are certain cities to avoid.
 
One good resource for travel & natural disaster warnings is the US Dept. of State website.
Lane Simmons of RE/MAX Colonial San Miguel de Allende – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Lane Simmons with police officers in San Miguel de Allende – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingAs a real estate agent and member of the Mexican Association of Real Estate Professionals (AMPI), of course I do not want to say anything detrimental to property values anywhere in the country. However, as a fellow human, in my case with a wife and two children here, I believe nothing is more important than our sense of physical security.
 
So, I will say that like just about anywhere in the world now, crime is an issue here, and some areas in and around town concern me more than others, but all things considered, there is nowhere my family and I would rather live than in San Miguel de Allende, and every day we are joined by more Mexicans and foreigners who feel the same. And, having served as an instructor at our local police academy, as well as a first responder with the Red Cross here, I have a bit more than just statistical insight in this regard.   
 
San Miguel enjoys being within an 8-10 hour drive to many of the country’s most popular coastal destinations, or to the USA, but because we are not close to any border crossing, port of entry, prohibited plant cultivation area, or along any of the corresponding transit routes, we have a sort of geographical immunity from the terrible consequences of the “war on drugs” afflicting other parts of the country.
 
(Pictured: Lane Simmons with police officers in San Miguel de Allende.)
Greg Gunter of Dream Pro Homes – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
low crime statistics in Mexico – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingReaders, these answers you read here, while anecdotal in nature, give you some of our personal insight, but if you’d like to see some facts, look at the graphic I’ve posted here.
 
Violent crime in Mexico in general is far less than the overwhelming majority of the U.S., and is even less in San Miguel de Allende.  While you are wise to use the same precaution you would use anywhere in the world (i.e., ladies, walk along the sidewalk with your purse on the side opposite the street, don’t use a poorly lit ATM in a dark location, etc.), crime is very low here. My only misfortune was having my wallet lifted in the subway in Mexico City years ago.  Otherwise I’ve never had an incident in Mexico!
Jonathan Peters of Ventanas de San Miguel – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Villa at Ventanas de San Miguel, an Miguel de Allende, Mexico – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingI don't know the crime rate in San Miguel de Allende, but I feel safe here in San Miguel de Allende. There are some issues happening in other areas of Mexico that we're fortunate we haven't experienced in San Miguel de Allende on a personal level. I have young kids and I have no thoughts of moving somewhere else. Local officials in San Miguel de Allende have their eyes on things to make sure that we stay as safe as we are now, but there's still news that somebody's house gets robbed and hopefully it will always remain news. Crime is not a commonplace thing in San Miguel de Allende so residents have a little bit of a latency attitude, but right now everything's fine.
 
One of the places in San Miguel de Allende that’s very safe would be in a gated community like Ventanas de San Miguel, which is where I work. The staff ask for your ID so they’re certain who's coming and going. The houses in Ventanas de San Miguel look just like a typical American suburb with no particular walls since they are not needed. Houses with high walls look cool but make more sense if those houses were downtown, but in a golf course that’s in a rural community, having high walls wouldn't make any sense.
 
I live in a neighborhood where it would feel strange if you didn't have a wall. Once I got used to the architecture here, I liked the idea of privacy. There is no security issue but being in your self-contained world for me is kind of cool. In the neighborhood that I live in with urban colonial style, everybody's facades bleed in to each other, with a few exceptions. The house we’re renting has light iron works on the windows, which just suits to dissuade any potential burglars. Having iron works on windows suits a couple purposes. It's good to have protection on the windows but I really look at it as an aesthetic thing. Having iron bars on windows is part of the architecture in San Miguel de Allende and the house would look naked if it didn't have them. Seeing iron works reminds me that I'm in San Miguel de Allende because the oldest homes in town always have the iron rods on the windows and doors.
 
In both Atlanta and San Miguel de Allende, there are areas in which you want to be very careful. I’ve felt safe in Atlanta.  However, Atlanta is flooded with guns and that's not the case here in San Miguel de Allende. You want to be aware of your surroundings but generally speaking, you're more apt and more comfortable walking around San Miguel de Allende at night than in Atlanta.
 
(Villa at Ventanas de San Miguel, an Miguel de Allende, Mexico, pictured.)
Ian T. Clement of Clement and Associates – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Bride and groom walking the streets of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingI absolutely feel that San Miguel de Allende is a safe place where I’m comfortable raising my kids and operating completely overtly. I don’t ever feel as though the crime wave that’s plagued Mexico has affected San Miguel de Allende. 
 
San Miguel de Allende is an interesting town in that you go 50 miles in any direction and you’re in completely rural Mexico where there are bigger cities sprinkled around. We live in an agricultural part of the country, and San Miguel de Allende is an oasis all on its own, so it really has to be measured with a different stick than everywhere else in Mexico, which is good for it when it comes to real estate prices and things like that. Wealthy Mexicans enjoy San Miguel de Allende just as much as foreigners do.
 
I feel safe in San Miguel de Allende. In the US, Mexico, and everywhere, there are too many guns circulating- it’s one of the great tragedies of our times. Safety is such a subjective issue. Do I think that I could get my briefcase stolen in the street? It could happen anywhere. It could happen in California, in Miami, or anywhere. Do I feel as though I can walk around and be completely indiscrete with the way I behave? No. I always try to be as modest as possible. If you keep yourself out of foolish situations for the most part, like walking down the street at three in the morning with a Rolex on, which clients of mine do, and which I definitely think is a bad idea. When you live in the Third World, you should always try to be as understated as possible with belongings.
 
You have to always remember no matter where you came from that Mexico still has an underclass that’s earning very little- almost less than what can feed them. There will be a lot of disappointed people, and since you have a lot of migration to the United States where people are making $10-$20 per hour for work that they would do here for $3 or $2 per hour, one can certainly be disappointed by that and look for a new line of work- crime.
 
I feel safe in San Miguel de Allende, and my clients also feel safe. The only crime that I have heard of are rural houses that got broken into. I always think that it’s good to have a dog. I think that you should always be aware of the fact that you’re not in Kansas anymore. You’re in a different place. 
 
If you’re light-skinned and have light eyes, you look different, and you definitely need to always be alert. You wouldn’t want to get too much to drink and then walk home in the morning. I think it’s like that in most places. 
 
When I lived in Florida and in Texas, most of my life consisted of getting in a car and going from here to there. I wasn’t walking around streets, or brushing shoulders with people I didn’t know. When you live in San Miguel de Allende and you walk around town, you get to know the town very quickly, and you get to see a lot more faces when you’re walking rather than driving. 
 
I haven’t lived in the States for long, so it’s really hard for me to have an idea what the pulse is up there. It’s such a big country that you can’t say what’s going on in Portland, Oregon has anything to do with what’s going on in Baltimore. I would say that most of the crimes that I see taking place in Mexico are need-based crimes. So much of the crimes that hit the headlines in the United States are mental illness or hate-based crimes. 
 
Hate-based crimes worry me more than need-based crimes because if you have a society that’s based with a very disproportionate structure when it comes to pay, I know that when somebody is trying to do their best but is not earning enough, they’re going to cut corners. Their kids are going to see that, and they’re going to grow up with those values. It’s too bad, but it is the case. 
 
When I see crime that’s hitting the headlines in the United States, I see a mentally disturbed guy who hasn’t gotten the help that he needs goes into a movie theater and shoots 30 people to death. That’s very concerning to me because I think that despite lots of social problems in Mexico, rampant mental health issues are not one of those. It’s based upon there still being a core strength in the nuclear family, in that young people can go to their parents after they’re 17 or 18 years old and say, “Hey look, let’s talk about this. I’m having problems.” I think that there’s definitely a cultural problem in the United States where people want their kids to begin to make their own life at 18, but people need to be really conscious of “Is this kid ready to leave the nest?,” and not just “Oh, it’s time to go to college,” or “It’s time to move and get a job and get an apartment.” Is this kid really ready or is he a basket case who could go get a big gun and do something crazy? 
 
I’m such a non-violent person. I’m a Quaker so it’s not part of me to be violent. It’s hard for me to be critical of somebody who makes US $5 to work their fingers to a bone, and it is expected from them to just put their tail between their legs, go home and eat rice and beans again. I think that it’s very unfair. It hurts me to see the inequality, where the crime is just a collateral effect.  
 
(Bride and groom walking the streets of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, pictured.)
Judy Newell of Perfect Journeys – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Girls watch a model work, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThe crime rate in San Miguel de Allende has risen from when I was here ten years ago. I came down originally as a travel writer to write a story on San Miguel on why all the Gringos were moving here. I actually wrote two articles.
 
I wrote one article on the developments that catered to what we call the Golden Ghetto, which is populated principally by extranjeros (North Americans) who were moving here and liked to live in gated communities, as that is what they are accustomed to.
 
The second article I wrote was called “Women Are Safe Here.” I interviewed several older ladies who had lived in San Miguel for up to thirty years who told me about how they could walk home at night from parties in town wearing their jewelry and carrying their purse, and they had no fear whatsoever of walking in the streets of San Miguel.
 
Since then, the crime rate in San Miguel has changed because the economy in Mexico has gotten a lot worse. A lot of the young people can’t get jobs. There are more purse snatchings and house break-ins, but as far as violent crime goes, San Miguel is one of the safest places I’ve been. In San Miguel, I feel as safe as walking around in Orange County.  Anywhere in the world nowadays you have to be aware of carrying your purse next to your body and not dangling it out in the air.  
 
(Girls watch a model work, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, pictured.)
 
Cathy Rocha – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Teatro Angel Peralta, San Miguel Allende. Mexico – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingWhen I saw the January through March homicides in the local paper, Atención, the crimes included 14 homicides for the first 3 months of 2016, which was alarming for me. In the sweet little highland town in Central Mexico, 14 homicide cases were startling. Of the 14, three of them were expats, and most of them, I read, were gang-related. 
 
I had never heard of murders or crimes before, and I had never read anything like that in the Atención. I’d heard of street crime, little robberies here and there, and some home robberies, but it has changed significantly in the last 3 years. It is no longer the safe haven that it once was. I do not go out ever at night because I don’t feel it’s safe to do so. I would have 5 years ago.
 
I’ve heard different stories about the expats who have been murdered. One woman fired a housekeeper in a fashion that was unacceptable. It was a pretty violent murder. It was a clear vendetta, they believed, and they didn’t know who it was. Two of the expats were Canadians, and one expat was an American woman. One of them came home while her home was being burgled, and was killed instantly. 
 
My primary reason for leaving San Miguel de Allende is that my partner is not interested in living here, and I’m interested in being back in California. I live alone, but I feel pretty safe. I have an alarm system, I put iron bars on strategic windows, which I hadn’t done before, and I have a little dog. 
 
I’m not leaving San Miguel de Allende because I’m alarmed with the crime. I’m leaving because I am alarmed that the crime rate has increased. 
 
 
San Miguel de Allende’s current Mayor, Villareal, writes that things have changed and are changing. It isn’t what I hear from folks who I know who are equally alarmed and who have been here a while. Because the people I know in San Miguel de Allende are mostly women, they’re more afraid than expat men living here simply because of our gender. It may be because we’re easier targets.
 
(Teatro Angel Peralta, San Miguel Allende. Mexico, pictured.)
Gilles Vachon of Mon Bistro Canadien Cuisine – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Building with offices and stores, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThe crime rate in San Miguel de Allende is very low. It is the safest place in Mexico. One of the reasons why we moved here is because this is known to be such a safe place.
 
I have lived in Monterey and in Mexico City and those are safe places, too. If you listen to the news, Mexico seems like it is very dangerous but it’s not so. The area of San Miguel is very safe. I live in a house that is not in a gate guarded area.
 
Although all houses in Mexico have bars on the windows, it is not because the place is unsafe. I have never had an issue about safety in the span of time that I have been living here. In 6 years, I never had a problem in Mexico.  
 
(Building with offices and stores, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, pictured.)
Eric Chazaro of Keller Williams Allende – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Keller William volunteers gather to earase graffiti in San Miguel de Allended, Mexico – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingCrime is normally measured in cities by the number or murders per 100,000 people, which is something that sounds really technical but that’s the way people compare one city to another. When reviewing those numbers with regard to San Miguel de Allende, unfortunately the crime in San Miguel de Allende has been worse in the last few years than it used to be, but it is still much less when compared to the crimes in other cities in Mexico or in the United States.
 
The last time I checked this information, there were about three murders per year per 100,000 people in San Miguel de Allende, while cities New Orleans and even Dallas have eleven to twelve murders. That is what you would see if you look at the statistics, but in reality, every city in the world is either the most dangerous or the safest one if you know how to live in it. People who live here in San Miguel de Allende and are part of the community feel much safer to be in San Miguel de Allende, walk in the streets, and to be part of the community than to live anywhere else. I happened to have the chance of living in many different cities in the world, including Mexico City, Barcelona, London, and Munich, Germany, and I have never felt safer anywhere else than right now here with my family and my two babies in San Miguel de Allende.
 
Like anywhere else in the world, if you live in San Miguel de Allende, you would have to use your common sense so I would not recommend anybody to leave an iPhone inside their car and visible from the outside because it might call for attention and somebody might come, break your car window, and get the phone. However, that is not the case on a daily basis. Of course there are neighborhoods in San Miguel de Allende where you would worry more about putting perhaps an alarm system in your house but one of the things that amazes me about San Miguel de Allende is how the community works together. When crimes happen, the neighbors get together and start organizing groups inside the communities where if they see something happening in the community, they would call the other neighbors and they would make sure that nothing is wrong. They would call the police if needed. These groups here in Mexico are called Vecino Vigilante, which is equivalent to a Neighborhood Crime Watch.
 
If you live in San Miguel de Allende, there would be certain practices that you would do just as you would anywhere in the world. You wouldn’t leave your house empty and unwatched. Don’t post on social networks that you’re away from home. Putting an alarm system in your house would keep you on the safe side.
 
Many people in several communities in San Miguel de Allende have been wise enough to hire people from the neighborhoods around these communities and so these people who are hired are the ones who become the housekeeping people, gardeners, workers, etc. Communities that do this become the safest and crimes of opportunity in these communities have diminished.
 
A few years ago, there were cases of home break-ins when nobody was home but that kind of crime happened for about six months and then stopped around six years ago.  Fortunately, it’s not the case any more. I think it has a lot to do with the fact that new employment has been created here so more people in San Miguel de Allende have jobs.
 
The expat communities are also very involved in charity work in San Miguel de Allende. They like to give back to the community so the poor people who have fewer opportunities are really thankful to the people in the expat communities. There is really an interesting mix between the expat community and the Mexican community in San Miguel de Allende. 
 
(Keller William volunteers gather to erase graffiti in San Miguel de Allended, Mexico, pictured.)
Kat Ballou – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Expats enjoying a center courtyard in San Miguel Allende, Mexico – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingI have been living here in San Miguel de Allende just shy of a year, so I don’t feel I am any kind of expert.
 
The only “bad” things that have happened to me since I have lived in Mexico: I walked away from an ATM without taking my debit card, and after a night out drinking, my wallet was missing. Loosing my debit card and not having access to my bank for weeks was a huge inconvenience in both cases, but it's not like I felt victimized. I take the blame for being careless and not paying attention.
 
Crime rates here in San Miguel de Allende I would say are equal to or less in comparison to any USA city that is culturally vibrant with a population of about 80,000. Crime rates are posted in the local “Atencion” newspaper. For 15 pesos (less than one US dollar) you can pick up a copy just about everywhere in the city. The paper is great, every article is written with an English and Spanish translation and they are mostly about Arts, Culture and Civics in and around San Miguel. Inside, it gives a calendar of all the local events day-by-day. You can get a pretty good idea of the pulse and vibe of San Miguel with reading it. 
 
(Expats enjoying a center courtyard in San Miguel Allende, Mexico, pictured.)

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