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Top 10 Most Dangerous Cities in Mexico 2024

Mexico stands at the 130th rank among the world’s most peaceful countries. There are some cities in Mexico where the homicide rate is alarming and increasing day by day. This has impacted the everyday lives of people living in those cities. Here is the list of the 10 most dangerous cities in Mexico.

Also Read, Dangerous Cities of the United States 

List of 10 Most Dangerous Cities in Mexico

  1. Tijuana
  2. Acapulco
  3. Ciudad Victoria
  4. Ciudad Juarez
  5. Irapuato
  6. Cancun
  7. Culiacán
  8. Uruapan
  9. Ciudad Obredón
  10. Coatzacoalcos

1) Tijuana

Tijuana is among the deadliest cities in Mexico, with an alarming 138 homicides for every 100,000 residents. Tijuana, which is bordered by both Mexico and the United States, has developed into a hotbed of drug cartel conflict over profitable routes for human trafficking. Due to the city’s advantageous location, turf conflicts between the Sinaloa and Jalisco New Generation cartels have made it a violent hotspot.

Over 2,000 homicides were committed in Tijuana in 2023 alone, a sharp rise over earlier years. Everyday life is impacted by the violence, which affects both locals and visitors. The city’s thriving cultural scene and busy nightlife provide a dramatic contrast to the high rates of crime. Even with a strong police presence and continuous efforts by the government to reduce violence, crime is still a major problem in Tijuana.

Corruption and economic inequality are two factors in the city’s problems. Safety is a top issue for residents in many communities, including Zona Norte and Colonia Libertad, where crime rates are higher. Despite the city’s attractions, many tourists are hesitant to visit as a result of its significant impact on tourism.

Continuous work is being done to enhance public safety and rehabilitate Tijuana. The goal of addressing the underlying causes of violence is to help local authorities and community organizations turn Tijuana from a city plagued by crime into one that is resilient and full of hope.

2) Acapulco

The once-glistening beauty of Mexico’s Pacific coast, Acapulco is currently struggling with a serious violent issue, as seen by its 111 homicides per 100,000 citizens. Acapulco is one of the riskiest cities in Mexico based on this worrying statistic. The city’s turbulent past contrasts sharply with its fall from a top tourist attraction to a crime hotspot.

Acapulco has become a battleground for drug cartels, with regular battles over control of drug trafficking routes. Over 900 homicides were reported in the city in 2023, a sobering figure that highlights the widespread violence. Residents’ daily lives have been significantly impacted by this increase in crime, which has left them feeling very insecure and afraid.

High crime rates particularly afflict neighborhoods such as Colonia Jardín and Renacimiento. Gang violence, extortion, and kidnappings are rampant, forcing many businesses to close and residents to live in constant fear. The local economy, once buoyed by tourism, suffers greatly as travelers avoid the area due to safety concerns.

The authorities are striving to regain control and restore Acapulco’s former glory. Increased police patrols, military presence, and social programs aim to curb the violence. Despite these efforts, the city faces significant challenges in overcoming the deep-rooted issues of corruption, poverty, and gang influence. The path to recovery for Acapulco is fraught with obstacles, but the resilience of its people offers a glimmer of hope for a safer future.

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3) Ciudad Victoria

Ciudad Victoria is one of the deadliest cities in Mexico, with 86 homicides for every 100,000 residents. Ciudad Victoria, the state capital of Tamaulipas in the northeast, has seen a lot of violence, mostly from organized crime and drug gangs.

The city’s approximately 400 recorded homicides in 2023 demonstrate the seriousness of its crime issue. Conflicts between the Gulf Cartel and Los Zetas, two formidable criminal groups fighting for control of drug trafficking routes, are a major contributing factor to the violence in Ciudad Victoria. People are afraid because of the frequent shootouts, kidnappings, and assassinations that have come from this rivalry.

The neighborhoods of Tamatán and Libertad are particularly afflicted by high levels of crime. These communities frequently experience extortion, theft, and other criminal activity, which makes day-to-day living dangerous. The problems with public safety in the city are made worse by problems with corruption and insufficient resources for law enforcement.

Besides stepping up military and police presence, community-based programs targeted at lowering crime and helping impacted families are being implemented in an attempt to curb the violence. Ciudad Victoria is still dealing with underlying problems that feed the cycle of violence despite these efforts. Ongoing initiatives and the people’s tenacity, however, give some optimism for a slow but steady improvement in safety and security.

4) Ciudad Juarez

With 86 homicides for every 100,000 residents, Ciudad Juarez continues to rank among the most dangerous cities in Mexico. Ciudad Juarez, which is located directly across the border from El Paso, Texas, is well known for its high crime rates, which are mostly caused by organized crime and drug cartel battles.

The city faced more than 1,200 homicides in 2023, underscoring the serious security threats it faces. The continuous turf wars between the Juarez and Sinaloa cartels, who compete for control over vital drug trafficking routes into the United States, are mostly to blame for the bloodshed in Ciudad Juarez. Because of this deadly competition, the city is an unsafe place to live and work, with frequent shootouts, kidnappings, and killings.

The neighborhoods of Anapra and Villas de Salvárcar, as well as the downtown area, are severely impacted by the high rates of crime. These areas frequently experience robberies, extortion, and other violent crimes, which adds to the general sense of unease and anxiety among the local populace. Since the maquiladora sector is so important to the local economy, extortion against firms and worker concern for safety wreak havoc.

In response, the government has stepped up military and police presence in addition to implementing social programs that target the underlying causes of violence, such as deprivation and ignorance. Ciudad Juarez still faces a lot of obstacles despite these initiatives. But there is some hope for a safer and more tranquil future because of the community’s tenacity and resolve.

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5) Irapuato

Irapuato is among the deadliest cities in Mexico, with 81 homicides for every 100,000 residents. Irapuato, in the state of Guanajuato, has grown to be a hotspot for violence caused mostly by conflicts between competing drug cartels.

Over 450 homicides were reported in the city in 2023—a sharp rise over the previous year. Conflicts between the Santa Rosa de Lima Cartel and the Jalisco New Generation Cartel are a major factor in the rising violence in Irapuato. These factions engage in conflict over control of local criminal enterprises and drug trafficking routes, which frequently results in homicides and shootouts that interrupt daily life.

The high rates of violence mainly affect neighborhoods like San Roque and Las Américas. There is a persistent danger of robbery, extortion, and other violent crimes for the residents in these regions, which makes them feel unsafe and afraid. Due to the continued violence, many businesses are finding it difficult to function, which has a severe impact on the local economy.

To address the underlying causes of crime, local authorities have expanded police presence and introduced social programs. Toop gang recruitment, community policing projects and youth engagement programs are being implemented. Even with these steps taken, Irapuato still has a lot of work to do to guarantee the safety of its citizens and lessen violence. Nonetheless, there is hope for a gradual change in the city’s security environment due to the community’s resiliency and determination.

6) Cancun

Cancun, a destination well-known across the globe for its breathtaking beaches and exciting nightlife, has been dealing with an increasing homicide rate of 64 per 100,000 inhabitants. Violence has increased at this well-liked tourist resort on the Yucatán Peninsula, mostly due to organized crime and drug cartel activity.

Above 400 homicides were reported in Cancun in 2023, a sharp increase over prior years. Drug gangs like the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, which fight for control of drug trafficking routes and local drug markets, are a major cause of the violence in Cancun. Even in tourist-heavy areas, there has been an increase in violent incidents due to this war, such as kidnappings, killings, and shootouts.

The high crime rates especially hit Cancun’s downtown and Bonfil neighborhoods. There is a general sense of fear and insecurity among the residents of these regions because they frequently face threats of robbery, extortion, and other violent crimes. Cancun’s tourism sector is still strong despite violence, yet tourists’ perceptions of safety are beginning to suffer due to increased crime rates.

Enhanced police patrols, security checkpoints, and community outreach initiatives are some of the ways that local authorities are attempting to curb the violence. The government has also contributed to programs that target the underlying issues that lead to crime, like unemployment and poverty. Even though there has been some progress in these efforts, Cancun still faces many obstacles.

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7) Culiacán

Culiacán is among the deadliest cities in Mexico, with 61 homicides per 100,000 people. Being the home base of the Sinaloa Cartel, one of the most potent and violent drug trafficking groups in the world, the capital of Sinaloa is well-known.

Culiacán had more than 600 homicides in 2023, a testament to the extreme violence that exists throughout the city. Shotgun battles, kidnappings, and murders are common outcomes of the struggles for control of drug trafficking routes and local criminal markets. Rival organizations seeking to subvert the Sinaloa Cartel’s authority are also responsible for this violence.

Culiacán has 61 killings per 100,000 residents, making it one of the deadliest cities in Mexico. The city of Sinaloa is well-known for being the home base of the Sinaloa Cartel, one of the most powerful and violent drug trafficking organizations in the world.

More than 600 homicides occurred in Culiacán in 2023, demonstrating the severe violence that permeates the entire city. Control disputes for local criminal markets and drug trafficking routes frequently result in shotgun battles, kidnappings, and murders. This violence is partly the result of other groups trying to weaken the power of the Sinaloa Cartel.

8) Uruapan

Uruapan is among the deadliest cities in Mexico, with a homicide rate of 55 per 100,000 inhabitants. Because of the heavy activity of organized crime groups and drug cartels, Uruapan, which is nestled in the state of Michoacán, has become a hub for violent crime.

The city saw more than 200 homicides in 2023, illustrating the high degree of violence that interferes with day-to-day living. Conflicts between competing cartels, such as the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, and local organizations like Los Viagras are a major cause of the violence in Uruapan. These groups fight for control over drug routes and the profitable avocado sector, which has drawn more attention from criminals because of its high profitability.

Vicente Guerrero and La Magdalena are two neighborhoods that are especially hard hit by high crime rates. There is a climate of dread and instability in these regions because residents are constantly threatened by violent assaults, armed robberies, and extortion. These illegal operations have a severe negative impact on the local economy, particularly on small companies and farmers, and lower the general quality of life.

More military and police patrols are being conducted by the authorities to curb the violence. Initiatives to shield nearby farmers from cartel extortion and community activities designed to give young people an alternative to joining criminal organizations are also part of the effort. Uruapan still has pervasive problems with cartel influence and corruption despite these efforts.

But there is hope because of the community of Uruapan’s tenacity and will. To recover their city, local authorities, and citizens are actively engaged to create a future in which prosperity and safety can coexist with the ongoing difficulties.

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9) Ciudad Obredón

Ciudad Obregón is among the most deadly cities in Mexico, with a homicide rate of 52 per 100,000 people. Ciudad Obregón, a city in the state of Sonora, has seen an alarming increase in violent crime, which is primarily attributable to organized crime and drug cartel activity.

The city had more than 350 homicides in 2023, underscoring the serious security issues it faces. Conflicts between competing drug cartels, such as the Sinaloa Cartel, and smaller local organizations fighting for control of drug trafficking routes and local criminal enterprises are the main causes of violence in Ciudad Obregón. The constant terror that permeates the community is brought on by these disputes, which frequently result in public shootouts, kidnappings, and assassinations.

Colonia Benito Juárez and Colonia Libertad are two neighborhoods that are especially hard hit by the high crime rates. These communities frequently see violent crimes, armed robberies, and extortion, which disturb daily life and the stability of the community. Because businesses are always under attack and many individuals avoid public locations out of fear for their safety, the local economy also suffers.

10) Coatzacoalcos

Coatzacoalcos is one of the deadliest cities in Mexico, with a homicide rate of 48 per 100,000 people. This port city, which is located in the state of Veracruz, has been severely impacted by violent crime, which is mostly caused by the actions of drug cartels and organized crime groups.

Coatzacoalcos had more than 300 killings in 2023, which is indicative of how serious its security problems are. Conflicts between competing cartels, such as the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, and local criminal gangs are mostly to blame for the bloodshed in the city. There are often violent clashes between these organizations as they fight for control over drug trafficking routes, extortion operations, and other illicit activities.

High crime rates notably affect neighborhoods like Ciudad Olmeca and Teresa Morales. There is a climate of dread and instability in these regions because residents frequently experience violent assaults, armed robberies, and extortion. There is a significant negative impact on the local economy as a result of numerous firms closing or having to operate under the fear of violence associated with cartels.

The local government has stepped up its efforts to stop the violence by stationing more police and military personnel there. There are continuous operations aimed at taking down cartel leaders and breaking up criminal networks, although these steps frequently result in brief drops in violence before it reemerges. 

No.Name Of CityHomicide Rate (Per 100k)
1Tijuana 138
2Acapulco111
3Ciudad Victoria86
4Ciudad Juarez86
5Irapuato81
6Cancun64
7Culiacán61
8Uruapan55
9Ciudad Obredón52
10Coatzacoalcos48

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Conclusion

The cities this blog highlights show how difficult it is for Mexico to fight violent crime, which is a depressing truth. Every city faces a different set of challenges, from thriving tourism destinations to industrial powerhouses, but they all fight against the impact of organized crime and drug cartels.

The startlingly high homicide rates highlight the critical need for all-encompassing policies that tackle the underlying causes of violence, such as deprivation, corruption, and opportunity gaps. While more police and military presence provides a short-term fix, long-term solutions necessitate an all-encompassing strategy that incorporates community involvement, social services, and economic development projects.

FAQs

Is Mexico A Safe Place To Visit?

Although Mexico ranks 136th among the world’s most peaceful countries, there are still some places that are worth visiting there. Places like the Yucatan Peninsula, the Pacific Coast, and Baja California Sur are some of the safest places to visit in Mexico.

Is Ciudad Victoria A Dangerous Place In Mexico?

Yes, Ciudad Victoria is known for its high crime rates. It has a homicide rate of 86 per 100,000 residents.

Oleksandra Mamchii

Working as a academic lead at Best Diplomats.

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