The crime rate here in the Los Cabos - La Paz area is next to nothing. Most of the crimes that we have in Cabo San Lucas and in San Jose del Cabo are petty crimes. It might be that somebody’s cellphone got stolen at a bar, or maybe a car got broken into in a randomly parked place. We have parking lots that are paved lots that have a security guard on them full time but sometimes people do not want to pay US $4 for the night to park in these places so they decide to park their cars way up on the street where they really shouldn’t be.
I have not heard of any physical attacks against anyone down here. The crime here is usually the little things mentioned above that and unfortunately, a lot of it has to do with people not being street smart like you would if you were in any other place in the world. You probably shouldn’t venture into dark alleys in New York City and you probably shouldn’t venture in any area that you don’t know in any city, and that includes Cabo, San Jose, and La Paz as well. As far as people getting attacked and killed here, we don’t have that.
Most of the incidents come from things like when somebody over imbibed alcohol or if somebody was not paying attention to their stuff when they were swimming in the ocean. The crime rate is very good because we are tourist-friendly and that is where all the income comes from for the most part.
The worst crime we have here is the police bribes because they would stop people if they have foreign plates and you may not made any infraction but they are going to tell you that you did. When this happens, everyone says just ask for “la cuenta,” which means “the bill”, and when the police says, “Oh no…” which means they really want a bribe because if they write out the ticket, it has to be processed so if they don’t want to write-out the ticket, you know that what they are looking for is a “propina,” which is a “tip” to let you pass. The rule of thumb is to just keep saying no and insist on getting the ticket, and usually they will just say, “Okay, go.” But 100 pesos (about US $5) usually takes care of it but most of us who live here locally now try to discourage people from doing that as well because if you don’t give them the bribe then they will eventually stop asking for them. Instead of paying the bribe, I just say, “Can I buy you lunch? Here’s some lunch money.”
When I first got here, I lived in an apartment in a Mexican neighborhood where I paid US $250 per month for rent, total. There was no crime ever committed against me and I never felt unsafe at all. In fact, I didn’t have a screen door in my apartment and sometimes it could get a little warm because I didn’t have an air-conditioning unit installed so I would leave my door open at night until around 1 AM until I went to bed and I never had any problems at all. I was a woman living alone. Yes, it was a Mexican neighborhood but that just simply means Mexicans live there.
I was lucky enough that when I was 17 years old, I lived in Argentina as an exchange student. I lived 45 minutes outside Buenos Aires. The experience taught me that people are people everywhere so I just look at it just the same way. I worked with a band here for several years and we would have late nights so I would take a cab at 2 AM instead of walking the streets at that night. It’s just smarts.
Everybody in our neighborhood was very nice and they are very curious about the American woman who lived there. I would have the neighborhood kids come to the house and every time I came home from grocery shopping, they would just love to bring my grocery bags up for me. They’d carry them up the stairs. They would love coming into my apartment because it was a little bit different than some of the others since it was more Americanized than what they are used to seeing. It was really a great experience. I loved it. In fact, the only reason I moved from there was because my husband was coming here full time and we have the dogs. We just didn’t have the space for the dogs, a home office, and everything else in that location but I really loved it there. I lived there for 3 years with no crime problems whatsoever.
( A San Jose del Cabo beach resort, Baja California Sur, Mexico, pictured.)-