It is no longer surprising to us when someone calls about the treatment and then ends it with “Hmm. . . is it safe to go there?” You have heard and seen it on the news—Mexico has one of the highest murder and homicide rates in the world. Many drug cartels originate in the country. In fact, one of the most notorious ones began in Tijuana.
But let me tell you this: Tijuana is safe, and I can say we are safer than other metropolitan cities in the world, even the United States such as San Diego.
All about Drugs
Most of the political, economic, and social issues in the country stem from drug trafficking, and definitely there are still a lot of cartels in Mexico. They have also been the major source of crime in many different cities. From 2007 to 2010, the murder and homicide rates definitely peaked, but we have to attribute it properly:
• There was also a significant war against these drug cartels and drug trafficking, in general. In other words, the police was taking over peace and order.
• From 2011, there was a steady drop of violent crime rate in the city. In 2011 it dropped to 400 homicides and about 300 in 2012. It slightly increased in 2013 but still very low to the rates three years ago. San Diego County, on the other hand, had recorded close to 500 violent crimes during the first half of 2013 or on the average of 3.4 for every 1,000 people. Chicago had recorded over 400 homicides in the same year.
• Mexico, even Tijuana, has been working so hard in strictly implementing gun control. We have one of the stringent borders in the world, and the city of Tijuana sits very close to it.
• Although Mexico still has a very high crime rate, most of these are committed in other cities such as Juarez, which is located close to El Paso, Texas, and surely far from Tijuana. Further, most of the crimes are committed against the locals, the same people who are involved in drug trade and other crimes, not against tourists and foreigners.
It Is a Regular Metropolitan City
Truth be told, Tijuana is just like thousands of other large cities in the world including New York, San Diego, and Chicago. Crimes such as robberies and thefts are common. But most of these cases occur at night. Thus, we usually advise our clients to avoid walking all by themselves late at night as well as talking to suspicious people.
It Is Truly Common Sense
When you travel, there is always the element of danger. Although some places are extremely dangerous to be in, Tijuana is not one of them. As long as you are mindful of what you are doing and you do not get involved with drugs and other illegal activities in the city, you will certainly be fine and have a grand time during your visit—just like all of our patients.