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Safety Alert

Part 8

Is Mexico Safe?... Use street smarts... Where to get cabs in D.F....Avoid deserted beaches at night


Year by year, the perennial question of "Is Mexico safe?" becomes more difficult to answer. Yes, I respond, Mexico is safe. But like every other country in the world, Mexico is not perfectly safe, nor is the country quite as safe as it used to be. As we all know from watching the evening news, crime is on the increase throughout the Americas -- including the United States.

In Mexico, where any crime against a tourist is treated with special alarm by the foreign media, an increase in taxi robberies and street crime in Mexico City has generated dire warnings about personal safety. Tourism officials plead the D.F.'s problem is no worse than that in any other big city. Programs have been instituted to better protect tourists, but fear, once released, is highly contagious and difficult to eradicate.

Our advice is to use the same streetwise precautions and common sense when visiting Mexico City that you'd follow in New York, Seattle or Atlanta. To be doubly safe, and to increase you own peace of mind, avoid hailing cabs on the street -- ask your hotel clerk to call a cab, or take one from the lineup at a sitio (cab stand).

The most common targets of street criminals are well-dressed business people and the obviously affluent tourist or local resident. Avoid warning any jewelry in public, don't carry fancy bags, and make your ATM withdrawals during busy hours.

Most important, if you should be confronted by a thief, don't run and don't resist: hand over the loot with a minimum of fuss.

Remember, it's not prudent to walk on deserted beaches at night, especially for women.

Don't drive at night


End of Excerpt from The People's Guide to Mexico

he People's Guide to Mexico
13th edition
Discover why generations of travelers say they wouldn't cross the border without it! Read the award-winning book: The People's Guide to Mexico

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