Mexico is third most dangerous country

Risk analysis firm's index ranks Mexico as 'extreme risk'

A study by a risk consultancy firm ranks Mexico near the top of the list of the world’s most dangerous countries.


The Criminality Index created by Verisk Maplecroft evaluates the risk to people, businesses and economies caused by violent crime in 198 countries.

Mexico ranked behind only Afghanistan and Guatemala.

The index looks for the widespread prevalence of organized crime, drug trafficking, kidnapping, extortion, robbery and other criminal activities that involve or lead to violence.

Each country is given a numerical risk figure ranging from 10, which is low risk, t0 0, meaning high risk. Verisk Maplecroft also splits the countries it assesses into several risk profiles, ranging from low to extreme.

With a score of 1.17 points, the firm pronounced Mexico as an “extreme risk” country.


It identified the prevalence of drug trafficking organizations as the major driver of crime in Mexico, seen as the hub for trafficking drugs between South and North America.

These criminal organizations engage in a constant turf war and for control of drug transportation routes to consumers in developed economies.

Additionally, the gangs are involved in kidnapping, extortion and robbery, increasing the burden on businesses, which have to increase their investment in security and insurance in detriment to their productivity.

Verisk Maplecroft estimated that the cost of violence for Mexico during 2015 was US $134 billion.

With a homicide rate of 17 per 100,000 inhabitants in 2015 and over 26,000 enforced disappearances since 2007, “an overwhelming proportion of crime in Mexico is focused within the highly lucrative drug trade.”

“President Enrique Peña Nieto’s early security gains have unwound and homicide rates have once again begun rising,” said the firm’s Mexico analyst.

“With security forces facing budget cuts, a deterioration in the overall security environment is likely, leaving investors exposed to risks such as extortion, theft and potentially the kidnapping of personnel,” warned Grant Sunderland.

Source: El Universal (sp), E-Consulta (sp), Business Insider (en)

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  • Jumex

    Waiting for all the expat folks who live in protected communities to come on here and sing about how Mexico is safer then the US and Canada.

    • Rich

      Maybe you could ask them all to leave Jumex. Your response actually carries a tone of disappointment that you didn’t rank number 1.

    • Hailey Mannering

      I certainly don´t live in a gated community and I feel safe walking alone in most parts of Merida at any hour.

      • mrbacchus

        I’ve lived in Mexico for 11 years, and don’t feel any less safe than when I moved here. Sure, I avoid certain neighborhoods at night, but I did that when I lived in the U.S. Just returned from a trip to Mexico City, and didn’t once feel uncomfortable-and I wasn’t staying in a big, fancy hotel, either.

        • Jumex

          Ignorance is Bliss.

        • King Trollo

          mexico city isnt a joke

          you need to live somewhere to see the bad side and all the worst areas of the city are outside the df, in mexico state. many of these suburbs are under the travel warning issued by the us state department

          • WestCoastHwy

            It seems that your wait was, “you could hold your breath long.”

  • leples bitang

    worse than Iraq? Syria?? El Salvador??? Somalia????

    • Laughable, ¿no?

    • King Trollo

      good call

    • iskinder

      Venezuela, Honduras, Brazil, Jamaica, Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Belice, etc….

  • kallen

    I’m shocked! (Said no one ever who has lived in Mexico).

  • Paxton

    Sad to see this. When we went to Colima in 1985 it was very safe. I watched it progressively get worse for crime to the point my laptop was stolen while I was using it in the park at a government hot spot in 2007. And witnessed more crime since. It is sad, Colima is a wonderful city, but it is getting taken over by crime.

    • elgallo13

      I lived in Colima for seven years and except for the assassination of a former governor, it was a peaceful, sleepy small city. I understand that now, rampant crime is increasing especially in Manzanillo and Tecoman.

  • Al Cantwell

    If you’re not involved in drug trafficking and otherwise behave yourself, you got nothing to worry about. Ask blacks how safe it is for them in the States. Would be interested in the US statistics, just for curiosity’s sake.

    • frankania

      You are right. If the stupid USA ever ends PROHIBITION, a lot of problems everywhere will diminish.

      • Hailey Mannering

        I couldn´t agree more. To make things worse, US public opinion blames Mexico for most of the problems resulting from the US-led war on drugs.

      • How right you are.

    • elgallo13

      Blacks who comprise one eights of the population commit one half of the murders, 93% on fellow blacks. They have much more to fear from their fellow blacks than from the police.

    • Jumex

      You are over looking the aspect of kidnapping for ransom. That gets played out everyday in Mexico.

      Foreigners and tourists have money. They make great targets of kidnapping.

      • Al Cantwell

        OK I’ll bite. How many foreigners were kidnapped in Mexico this year?

        • Jumex

          A quick search in google revels it happens fairly frequently. Dispite the fact that MOST foreigners stay in protected areas guarded 27/7 due to the threat of kidnapping, robbery and rape.

          “There has been a surge in the kidnapping of foreigners in Mexico, according to a Mexican Government report” – “last year it had surged to 697.”

          2 a day is a lot IMO.

        • Pesobill

          Police are behind many of them .. And yes many are kidnapped and nobody reports it.. 26000 missing , looks like a safe place to me , jajajajaajaja..

  • Chuck Hart

    I have lived in Baja for over 5 years and am constantly telling people how safe it is. And I don’t live in a gated community. I would (and have) drive through downtown Tijuana at midnight before I would drive through So. Central LA at noon. It’s my home and I will never leave.

    • elgallo13

      The safest state in Mexico.

      • EstebanCardenas

        the safest state in MX is Yucatan, then maybe Queretaro. You need to start checking actual statistical data before speaking out…

      • Pesobill

        Wrong !!

  • Tony Ramirez

    You all know that this is a fake news site right? None of this information is real, the real Crime Index is on Numbeo

  • Adrian Thompson

    The facts don’t lie all the rest is perception. I agree that in staying away for drugs is the best advice but even in quiet safe Los Cabos we had 12 murders in November, two killed just steps away from Walmart at a local taco joint and one in the parking lot of the local Mega supermarket. After 5 years living here in quiet, things have really heated up.

  • mikegre

    You can deny the Mexican crime problem all you want but until you face up to the facts, the problem will not get solved.

    • EstebanCardenas

      Nobody is denying the problem… but saying that it is more dangerous than central America,Syria, Afghanistan or Iraq is simply absurd… Americans are safer vising MX than living in the US, and that is a plain statistical FACT

      • I live in “dangerous” Michoacán. Safer here than Los Angeles. Take it to the bank. What we have in Michoacán are a few pockets of narco activity in the Tierra Caliente that raise the stats for the entire state.

        • elgallo13

          Safer than LA, give us the source.

          • King Trollo

            lol thats what i thought, a bit of a stretch i think

            the report overall seems off though, doesnt make a lot of sense i mean congo and nigeria are safer than the worst latin american countries (which are on the top risk tier as well)? doubtful

          • King Trollo

            nigeria is already rated on the top tier, my bad

        • Pesobill

          As he gets robbed and murdered and police never apprehend anyone ,…dreamer..Enjoy the ghetto.

        • Güerito

          Felipe, I agree this report is a little extreme. But it’s not really true to say that violence in Michoacán is limited to “a few pockets of narco activity in the Tierra Caliente.”

          Speaking just of narco violence, the coastal area sees a lot of it. It’s one of the reasons the Michoacán coast has never been developed. Also, right now the most violent part of the state is probably in the northwest around Zamora, where the state borders both Jalisco and Guanajuato.

          Michoacán has five cities in the top 50 for homicides. Only one one can be considered in Tierra Caliente – Apatzingán. Three are in the the N.W. area I dsecribed: Zamora, La Piedad, and Sahuayo.

          The entire state, including the captital Morelia, has seen a large increase in crime in the last couple years.

        • Ell

          I was born in mexico n come back every year I go kick it in the barrio with my boys in the worst places n have never had a problem at all I spend months down in michocan mexico n everyone is cool! If you’re a loud obnoxious American who does stupid shit yea it’s gonna be dangerous! If you compare it to chiraq it’s way safer I’d rather be in any part of mexico then on the west side of Chicago !

      • mikegre

        Like I said, denying the problem will not solve the problem.

      • elgallo13

        Come now, USA has a murder rate of 4 versus 24 for Mexico from other sources. I agree that Mexico should be number ten instead of number three. Many Mexicans are hiding their heads in the sand like an ostrich. I lived in Mexico for eight years and one of the things I found out was that Mexican news does not report all the negative things that are happening in Mexico whereas the USA news do. I learned when and where I could go. If Mexico continues to mistreat its people, this violence will continue. You might ask yourself, why is this violence not happening in Canada, a country with a 3500 mile unguarded border with the USA, to enlighten you, because they treat their people right.

        • EstebanCardenas

          You need to enlighten yourself with hard data

          Americans are statistically safer vising MX than living in the US. That is a statistical fact which does not contradict national murder rate statistics. US visitors/expats do not see high levels of violence in MX. Law-abiding middle class Mexicans do not see level of violence characteristic of a top 10 violent country ranking.

          I do not know on what years you lived in MX. With current media technology, it is impossible to hide reality. There are PLENTY of web based outlets; the info is there.

          Your comparison about “treating people well” reflects great ignorance. In contrast to the US, in MX the lower class was never enslaved nor placed in reserves. Our complex history is behind our broad range of socioeconomic levels. I worry about the poor, but also take pride from the fact that in our history we never exterminated them, as is the case in practically any so-called “developed” economy

          • elgallo13

            Americans are safer because they stay in enclaves and many have very few contacts with ordinary Mexicans. I left Colima, Colima in June of last year, according to our friends (Mexicans) things have gotten worse. Just recently in the contiguous city, Villa Alvarez, two policemen were killed.

            Let me give you some statistics for Mexico: 75% of crime is unreported because the populace thinks that the police won’t do anything and, even worse, may harm the victims; only 2.5% of crimes are punished, a very poor justice system.

            As far as pay is concerned, the minimum wage is about 60 pesos per day, now $3.00, PPP is probably about $4.00. Ford motor company established $5.00 per day in 1910. A few years ago, when our car broke down in Morelia, Michoacan, it cost 650 pesos to replace a pulley, the mechanic received 20 pesos for an hour’s work, about $2.00 at the time. He could have made about $1800 a month if he had joined a drug gang.

            In 1871, the Tohon O’odham Indians, sold 31 children in slavery in Mexico after raiding and killing many Apaches, mainly women and children. Please remember (and this is a hyperbole) that Mexicans ignore laws with which they find inconvenient.

            If Mexicans are so well treated, why are so many in the US? If I were a Mexican, I would be ashamed.

            In my twenty plus years of visiting and living in Mexico, I have seen a large increase in the middle class and now very little abject poverty, but it has a ways to go.

          • EstebanCardenas

            What you are describing does not fit the reality of middle-class Mexicans, who nowadays account for the majority of the country.

            Nobody is denying that life is hard for Mexico’s lower class, but at least they did not have to endure slavery, segregation, and much less extermination, like in the US -land of the free-

            Crying about 31 slaves is ridiculous… you people enslaved by the millions…

            I am Mexican and I am very proud of it. If I were American, I would be ashamed, not only for your history vs your lower class, but mainly for overcoming so many social injustices over the last century only to end up freely electing a bigot… your nation has shown the world how great modern democracy can be, and also how dangerous and self destructive democracy can turn over the years when a society is too selfish to provide all of its people with egalitarian access to education.

          • EstebanCardenas

            Americans stay in safe enclaves in their own country! Middle class Americans stay away from down town low-income neighborhoods… DC has a murder rate 3 times higher than that of Mexico City…

      • Pesobill

        Really ? I have lived in both countries for years and your ‘opinion’ is not factual. The murder rate in Mexico is always 4 times higher than the USA . I lived in a small beach Gringo community and we had 4 murders in one year , in a population of 4,000 people . One I knew personally and was not involved in drugs . The dreamy Gringos will get hooped as their bad investments mount . The most ignorant and misinformed in Mexico are the Realturds and those homeowners who think they made such a good move investing in a third world turd. I have seen police tape and bodies in the street in La Paz .

        • EstebanCardenas

          My information is FACTUAL and STATISTICAL. Yours is anecdotal. Visit US government web pages, check the number of US visitors to MX, the number of murdered Americans, and do some math.

          • King Trollo

            statistical doesnt mean factual

      • King Trollo

        the ‘visiting mex vs living in the us’ comparison doesnt make a lot of sense, but youre correct about iraq/syria/afghan

        • EstebanCardenas

          It is a statistical FACT. The data is available from US government web pages. Just search for number of US visitors to MX, number of Americans murdered in MX, and then compare that ratio to the murder ratio in the US. And an additional point there: most Americans killed in MX were involved with illegal drugs/weapon smuggling

          • King Trollo

            compare what to mex?

            if youre comparing americans thats not entirely surprising, americans LIVE in america

            kind of a big whoops there!

          • EstebanCardenas

            Number of Americans killed in MX/Number of Americans visiting MX

            is lower than

            Number of Americans killed in the US/Number of Americans living in the US

            -> Statistically, Americans are safer visiting MX than living in their own contry

          • King Trollo

            thats like saying americans are safer visiting affghanistan than living in america

          • EstebanCardenas

            Are they?

          • King Trollo

            they may well be, the comparison however doesnt make sense in the first place

  • Baloney. I can only assume they take the stats from some very high-crime areas and let those raise the average for the entire nation.

  • EstebanCardenas

    “consultancy Verisk Maplecroft has compiled a list of countries with the highest risk of violent crime”
    “Each country is given a numerical risk figure, ranging from 10 (low risk) t0 0 (high risk).Verisk Maplecroft also splits the countries it assesses into several risk profiles, ranging from low to extreme. The consultancy does not, however, give away its exact methodology.”

    According to Verisk, these countries are safer tan MX

    Country — Murder rate

    Honduras — 84.6
    El Salvador — 64.2
    Venezuela — 62
    Jamaica — 36.1
    South Africa — 33
    Colombia —- 27.9
    Brazil — 24.6

    Mexico murder rate is 15.7, and the value is strongly deviated from the majority of the country by a few states hardly hit by drug trafficking.

    Shame on Verisk Maplecroft for playing along Trump-era bashing on MX for political gain!

    • Fernando Nieto Landeros

      I’m totally agree with you

    • King Trollo

      the top three are worse but jamaica, south africa and brazil in reality probably have lower murder rates than mexico (and colombia). theyre more stable and less corrupt, its easier to collect the dead bodies. look on various travel advisory lists or control risks’ very credible riskmap, those two countries are almost always without exception ahead of the three i mentioned at the beginning

      it doesnt explain however why this source has latin america worse off than the rest of africa and on par with the middle east and afpak region, which makes me think theyre ‘partially’ using ‘locally-collected’ official stats that weigh heavily on the overall rank. these should only be used as a ‘very’ secondary source imo (including homicide)

      • EstebanCardenas

        You are speaking out of prejudice. South Africa, Brazil and Colombia have HIGHER murder rates compared to MX. This is a statistical FACT verified by international agencies. You have no data to sustain your absurd claims. Travel advisories will always be more extensive for MX because it is the top foreign destination for Americans.

        • King Trollo

          what are you talking about? i was backing you up (largely) but do you work for the mexican tourist industry? your language is suspicious

          independent sources routinely class mexico as more dangerous than brazil and south africa. its nothing mysterious

          travel advisories from any country have nothing to do with the location, they also give them out for the congo, somalia, iraq etc. not exactly tourist destinations hey?

    • Henry Wilson

      was with you until you had to offer your gratuitous insult of trump and his supporters. nothing to do with mexico’s crime problem. get over it dude. he is the next president of the united states and if you are smart you will learn to play along.

      • Another example of why Hillary got it right when she referred to creatures like Henry Wilson as “deplorables”.

        • Henry Wilson

          thanks for confirming that libtards are a pathetic brain dead bunch.

          • Renfrew Bosch

            Libtard? My, you’re almost a grown-up now!

          • Henry Wilson

            shame on you! for as even a child can understand the nonsense presented by the radical left, i plan to remain one for as long as is required to remove the nonsense of the far left from the public square of advocacy.

    • King Trollo

      actually not all of africa is safer than latam on the map. ive realised three countries are rated on the highest risk tier: libya, nigeria and somlalia

      however, not a single one of congo/kinshasa, central african republic, mali, south sudan, sudan, eritrea, ethiopia, cameroon, burundi, algeria, egypt, ivory coast, djibouti, chad, niger, guinea/conakry, guinea/bissau, liberia, mauritania and kenya are rated as extreme. many of these are independently put ahead of latam countries on other ‘credible’ listings

      • EstebanCardenas

        Your point is invalid. Most of those countries do not even have institutions to generate the statistical data needed for the ranking… nor are they open to the scrutiny of international observers, like MX is…

        • King Trollo

          are you dense? check control risks or ijet’s security ratings

          these independent sources dont use *statistics*, they go on what a place looks and feels like from their own in-house experts on the ground there which is way more reliable. statistics has nothing to do with it which was the poin t im making, these types of rankings (typically) are the absolute opposite to *stats*. you cant gather reasonable stats in the most dangerous countries

          normally official stats have nothing to do with these independent rankings, which makes me wonder why this one has latam countries on the top tier with their much more proficient recording systems

  • GOPerson

    I can attest to the fact robbery is high on the list. Pickpockets stole my phone last year and a few days ago they stole my wallet out of my purse while it was on my shoulder. Stay away from Chapala.

  • cooncats

    Pickpockets hang out where ever the tourists do. Try Paris sometime. Otherwise, Chapala is pretty safe compared to a lot of places in Mexico. Because lakeside is a hot tourist area we just routinely take the recommended personal security steps like we would if traveling.

    Agree Mexico is pretty safe for the tourists except for the stupid ones who do drugs and hang out in sleazy bars at night. Funny, those same folks seem to get killed pretty regularly NOB as well. Does that tell you something?

  • Dan Tucker

    Pure BS. These people who generated this idea are idiots.

    • Pesobill

      Pure facts , do the research …

      • mclio

        Only because you agree with it Trumpster

  • Pesobill

    Yep , I have friends living in Los Cabos and the murders in Los Cabos and La Paz are amazing bad..

  • Linda Sonna

    The high risk of homicide in Mexico is driven by the many shootings of drugs users, police, politicians, journalists, and members of a competing cartel, I personally feel less secure in the U.S., where shootings are random.

    Author of Tortillas & Peanut Butter: True Confessions of an American Mom Turned Mexican Smuggler – a Kindle TOP 10 BESTSELLER in both humor and memoir/biography. Sample chapters at

  • Henry Wilson

    as a harsh critic of the lack of true law enforcement in mexico and the corrupt public officials, i must say however that ranking mexico as the third worst in the world is laughable. travel in honduras sometime. guatemala. el salvador. venezuela. and lets not even talk about havens such as most of the african nations. name one city in the us in which you would be ok walking at night in their ghettos. yeah…right. i can name a dozen cities in mexico in which i have and do walk at night with no fear. ridiculous story.

  • Güerito

    “Cancún and the Riviera Maya are not Acapulco in terms of violence, but it’s heading that way. The area confronts the same combination of organized crime and institutional corruption.”

    (violence on the increase, directed against both legal and illegal businesses extorted by organized crime)

  • alance

    Before I moved from Florida to Mexico my next door neighbor was murdered and his body was dismembered. I have not experienced anything like that in Mexico. The Verisk Maplecroft firm is incompetent and crazy and full of BS.

  • King Trollo

    numbeo is probably the least credible source out there, not to mention the crime-obsessed south african cranks that have obviously hijacked it

    control risks’ riskmap is probably the best one i know of, they have a world map ranking countries and regions or cities within countries. theyre an independent source and they have a good rep, and random trolls cant go on there pushing their cities/country up (or down)

  • mclio

    BS… and since when is Guatemala some hell hole, I thought they were relatively stable although I’ve heard of a few murders here and there. There is no way El Salvador and Honduras are safer than Mexico, MS-13 and other street gangs are everywhere you look in those countries, they’ve had refugee crisis lately have they not? and Syria? Lol give me a break.

  • WestCoastHwy

    I believe this Ranking was miss understood. Countries like Iraq, Syria, El Salvador and even Somalia are in a War Torn area and currently not receiving any Capital Investment or considered Operational for that matter. Where as Mexico is the Third Ranking Country for Car Production….etc. So, with that said, the Risk Management toward the perimeters in this Ranking, Mexico is Third.