Mexico hosts many of the world’s most violent cities, and Tijuana is without a doubt the most violent. Like in other Mexican cities, gangs and drug cartels bring here thefts and violent crime. As of late 2019, there were 100 murders per day in the city. Tijuana has been consistently ranked as the most dangerous city in not just Mexico, but the whole world, notably because it hosts the most dangerous drug cartels in South America. There was an explosion of carnage in 2008 during a cartels war where corpses were hung from bridges and shootouts raged. People were terrified to step out of their house at that time.
Homicide Risk: HIGH
Statistics show Tijuana as the city with the highest per capita murder rate in the world. Tijuana experienced 2,208 homicides in 2019, down from 2,519 in 2018. the number of homicides is now slightly down but stays high. Tijuana also leads the country in femicide and it’s not recommended for females to travel alone here.
Transport And Taxis Risk: HIGH
Uber and minibuses are the safest ways to travel around the city. As a tourist, it is dangerous to walk around if you don’t know the city, especially at night, as you can be perfectly safe on one street, walk a few blocks and end up in a dangerous part of town.
Be aware that there are common scams occurring in taxis: the driver may try to overcharge you, take a long route to rack up a bigger fare, take you to a restaurant or hotel where he gets commissions.
Pickpocket Risk: HIGH
Pickpocketing is a fairly common crime in Tijuana. Pickpockets mostly operate in the crowded touristy areas of Zona Centro and Zona Norte during the day and evenings. As a tourist, you are a target and you shouldn’t carry valuable items with you or wander at night.
Street prostitutes often work as pickpockets. They approach you, distract you by touching you or grabbing at you, then steal your phone, wallet, watch, or whatever they can get their hands on. Another trick pickpockets use in Tijuana is to wait outside of bars and target drunk people.