Please update us on any security situations in the Chapla/Ajijic areas

My wife and I are considering vacationing in the Lake Chapla and Ajijic area later this year with a focus on selling/renting our home and moving there.

Of course we are concerned about security and have read of the past  incidents of a rare murder and occasional home invasions there and other places nearby (which of course can happen anywhere).

This report came out today and we were wondering if anything had actually happened in the area or if this is just a precaution from the American government (there may be some new drug trafficker activity)? Has this affected the expats already living there? 

Also has there been any recent problems at or near the Don Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla International Airport? That airport would be our lifeline back to our kids/family, check on our property in the US etc. when we needed a quick trip home should we move there.

Here are excerpts from the report: today is reporting the United States Government  raised 11 Mexican states to a level 3 (out of 4) warning Wednesday, which urges people to "reconsider travel" there.

Those states where Americans are urged to reconsider travel include the State of Mexico - Mexico's most populous state, which includes most suburbs of Mexico City - and Jalisco, home to the city of Guadalajara, the Puerto Vallarta resorts and the lakeside expat community of Chapala and Ajijic. But the travel advisory said there are "no restrictions on U.S. government employees for stays in ... Guadalajara, Puerto Vallarta, Chapala, and Ajijic."

Thank you for any and all info as we are really new at all of this but also want to to be fully informed of what we are getting ourselves into.

Like I said on another forum, safety is important to all so the following link compares Puerto Vallarta to Ajijic. … Comparison

Thus being said, a 0 risk factor doesn't exist. My wife and I both speak good spanish, live in a Mexican town and talk we the local neighbours which helps but like anywhere in the world, we don't flash valuables. Our apartment is owned by a Mexican and rent it, we don't own a vehicle, use the local transportation like the majority does.

Adios y buen dia a todos, GyC.

As Mexicogc said. All is well here. I have heard of no problems. Just use normal common sense. I still feel a lot safer here than up north. Come down and talk to the people living here and then decide. Everyone is happy to share their experiences.

I have also read a recent report that is concerning.

Living modestly and not flashing valuables sounds like the thing to do. However, you may still be in the wrong place at the wrong time. (Just like anywhere in the world)

Mark … spartandhp


I read on the news this am that the western part of mx had the most murders in the country so be careful. dont go out at night and stay away from central parts of the cities. act and dress like mexicans; blend in so u cant be picked out as GRIINGO

grapenut :

I read on the news this am that the western part of mx had the most murders in the country so be careful. dont go out at night and stay away from central parts of the cities. act and dress like mexicans; blend in so u cant be picked out as GRIINGO

Actually, Baja California Sur is #1 for murders per capita in all of Mexico as of 2017 stats.  This is an interesting link to a January 22, 2018 article. … fornia-sur

However, I guess that does qualify as "western" Mexico.  You can't get much further west.

Thanks James,

Good article!

Hello.  I just moved here in November 2017.  I am wondering if that advisory is connected to the fact that many Americans are moving to Ajijic/Chapala area.  The demand for housing has escalated in this area since the election.  The expat community and the Mexican community are quite outspoken against Trump.  Of course he has his supporters here. 

Haven't heard any outrageous stories of people being murdered in their homes or drug cartel activity or constant robberies.  Crime is everywhere and in my humble opinion, really worse in the US than here.

Don't watch Fox news so only became aware of the situation based on your post.  In fact, I rarely watch the news as it's too inflammatory.  Here's what my experience of living in Ajijic has been thus far:  meeting honest and helpful people who love their families, work hard and are doing their best to succeed in their own country in coexisting with the multitude of ex-pats.  And yes, I do know of someone who was the victim of a home invasion.  Unlike the States, rather than beat or kill her, they tied her up (loosely) and took off with some of her goods.  I also have met people who have lived here over 30 years and nothing has happened to them.

I truly hope you don't give in to the fear.  Have never felt more at peace than here.


Thank you so much for sharing your experiences. 

That is what I was looking for with my post!

Thank you for your feedback. I'm still trying to weigh the pros and cons (crime) compared to Costa Rica. I'll be in Mexico in March for one week and then to Costa Rica in July for two weeks.

Thanks again.

We just got back from Ajijic a week ago and didn't feel threatened in the least.  Yes, the cartel is active at dealing with their own, but there didn't seem to be effect on the gringos in the area.  I did hear a story about a Canadian couple in San Antonio who refused to give a guy with a gun their money and ended up getting killed, but nothing happened in the four weeks we were there.  So, we didn't feel insecure at all.

I'd assume most of the real crime is Brown on Brown.  It's a given we struggle with probabilities .. the entire Universe is governed by laws of probability.   I'd nix Lakeside and Ajijic for two reasons not related to crime .. alcoholic friends and neighbors and boredom.  I doubt there are many White folks there under 80.

Thank you for your comments and feedback. WE have decided to rule out the pacific coast (why take the chance when there are so many nice other places). We are focusing on the Mayan Rivera (Playa De Carmen) and the Yucatan (Meida).

For me the ideal location is a small pueblo relatively close to a city.  There are some robberies and murders in this pueblo and there are only 650 inhabitants.   

I read some years ago 70 autos a day are stolen in GDL.

La Paz BCS was mentioned.  I lived there for years.  It was so safe sometimes I wanted something to happen just to break the boredom.  Well something did happen.  Out of the nothing the mob decided that's were they belonged.  I get reports from friends the place has gone to sh*t.

I'm guessing the mob likes to be close to the border or in a place where easy access to routes North exist, be it by land or sea, to reception "safe houses"  where they unload. 

You have to think like a narco to make a good resolve where it might be safer.

Since the South is farest from the Northern border you'd think maybe that's my place.  No, it's also closer to Central and South America where the climate is right for the goods.  Then you can fool yourself into thinking the ppl here or there are more law abiding, or the law more morally guided.  You can forget that too.  Then you can believe an affluent society is safer.  No, the narcos have plenty of dosh, they can live and operate anywhere they wish.   

I've been here since '81 and I have no answers.  But I do have a suggestion .. your needs to live somewhere Walmart and Costco and Sam's Club flourish, where there are plenty of older Gringos to chat with just might be the curse of your life.   Chapala?    Quick, hand me my barf bag!

Migration is based on two factors .. something attracts you to a place, and something makes you want to leave a place. Think like a narco.  Why do they want to leave, where do they want to go .. and why.

TJ, as bad as its reputation for decades, had an all out war against its narco population.  And from what I read it helped.   I lived there.  I liked it in many respects.  So highway 1 is the route to the border but before you get to TJ you pass all those little Baja towns along the way.  If you were to encounter norcos there it'd be some guys stopping for gasoline or a couple of tacos.  If you can take 8 months of 110-degree weather that might be the safest place for you.

Report out yesterday on news Playa Del Carmen ( I believe that was the town ) American consulate shut down due to violence that could be terrorists. There was bombs planted on boats . I wonder if Mexico shut down its consulate in Las Vegas or Orlando? There is no place in the world with zero violence. Use your head and Live your life like there is no tomorrow is my philosophy.


Chapala:  You probably already know they have a forum?

So as I see it the problem in Chapala is both the Mexican and the NoB population.

Although I live fairly close I never go there.  But I used to go years ago.  It hadn't much of a population but now it's over-crowded, traffic snarls, dirty.

Although the Mexican population has grown leaps and bounds, it's logical most of those folks are nowhere near native to the area.  They have come from all over the nation looking for employment.  The place is a gold mine for robbery.  A quick break in and the guys have just earned ten years of wages as a gardener. We don't know if the mob has a foothold, I doubt they bother with break ins.  But those who came looking for work but hadn't any luck are no doubt plentyfull, bold, and skillful. 

The old Gringos have lots of security devices.  So what?  Your naid could trot off downtown to a locksmith and duplicate your keys and sell them to the highest bidder.  As for the security agencies, so what?  Do you think the employees are vetted as an FBI applicant NoB?  The newly arrived retirees I figure are the most vulnerable.  They haven't learned the rules and are nowhere near being set up with security essentials.  Pretty easy for a local bad boy to spot Chapala honeymooners and snow birds.  I can, why on Earth couldn't they?

I’m headed back to Ajijic end of the month. I have been gone for around 6 months. Have things there changed so dramatically? The last time I was there for 6 months , during that time I only heard of one break in . The break in occurred at the home of someone that enjoyed flashing their wealth according to neighbors. My friends that live there full time haven’t mentioned a thing about a crime wave .?.

Who mentioned a crime wave?  Check their forum if you haven't already.  Of course you'd have to assume all break ins are reported, or that they are posted on  Internet forums.  Most of the complaints I read have to do with overcrowding, slow Internet and street conditions.

New topic