Hmmmm. Now that you ask, the answer is: not as dangerous as the United States in some areas!
There's a lot of hype these days about how dangerous Mexico is. Is the drug business doing well --- yes, probably not as well as it does in the United States because the stats don't include pharmaceutical abuse (which is quite high in the States)!
As citizens of the United States we are privy to all the various takes on crime in Mexico. Lots and lots of people do not like Mexico or Mexicans. The news we always hear about crime and the cartels in Mexico paints a picture that is very severe. I'm going to include some links that you can look at to assess for yourself what the situation is really like.
Do we feel like we are in danger most of the time? No. But we live street smart just as we would in Miami, New Orleans, or any other large city or town. See: www.nationmaster.com/country-info/compare/Mexico/United-States/Crime
Sometimes we read so much of the bad and disturbing news about a place --- and Mexico is always in the news --- that we begin to believe that it must be terrible because there is so much published.
When we lived in Uruguay, the students who were in my classes at the International school where I taught, studied what life was like in the United States and decided to study at a university located somewhere else. What the United States looks like is that there is a lot of random crime, terrible drug use and abuse, and corrupt government just as there is everywhere else.
Sometimes we become easily convinced because we don't take the time to look up actual facts. It seems that using the facts these days is very out of style in the USA. Therefore, when you are looking at any country, don't just look at the stats that you read about in news articles or that you see on the television. Go do a deep research on the Internet and look at the comparisons between them all. You will find that in most cases, Mexico has less crime in the very areas where the USA excells. It's important to use something other than Homeland Security figures, as I wonder how skewed they may be considering the activities promoted by them such as ICE.
We receive the alerts from the United States regularly, as do most Americans living abroad. But what strikes us as strange is that the alerts are generally for certain states in Mexico, not simply a town or city in that state. For instance, Jalisco is on that list of places not recommended for American tourists. However, the majority of the crime takes place in Guadalajara, a city of over 4 million people, 50 miles north of where we currently live yet in the same state of Jalisco.
In answer to the second question in the title: No, I am not afraid. Period. I live here and I have no desire to move back to the United States at this time. For one thing, Mexicans are not argumentative and always trying to force their view on me --- political, religious, or otherwise. In general when you walk anywhere, they look you in the eye and acknowledge your presence on "earth", in the grocery store, on the boardwalk --- anywhere. You are there and they acknowledge your presence with a nod and a smile, or a simple "good morning" or "good afternoon", and it just feels different (and way better) than it felt in the States.
Here are some links to get you started on your own research. Some are directly from people who have lived here a very long time or have done the research to be able to speak with a good authority as to how safe it is here. I'm going to include a couple of fun articles but that have good information. We've enjoyed watching and following Lori and Jerry Brown's Travel videos for over 2 years. They've been here a long time and their specific mission is to share accurate information with people considering Mexico either for retirement, investment, or vacations. You can check them out on YouTube.
Here is another link to a post on another blog that gives several other links that take you to more information about the crime situation in Mexico. This is really the only time I'm going to post about crime here because the rest of life is so fabulous that I prefer to share it with you. But here is the link to an informative post! assetbuilder.com/knowledge-center/articles/is-it-too-dangerous-to-retire-in-mexico
And finally, this is a place I love to visit because there are so many options for comparisons. Some have not had too many people reporting, but the fact is that all reporting is by people who are willing to research and send details to this website.
Long blog today, but necessary due to the number of people who ask us this question or who doubt our sanity for living here!
Question for you: After you have done your research, let me know if you would consider a visit to Mexico!