How dangerous is it to visit Tijuana

Tijuana is ranked by a non-governmental organization (NGO) outside of war zones as the city with the highest death rate in the world. According to the report of the non-profit organization "Seguridad, Justicia y Paz" (translated: "Security, Justice and Peace") there were 138.3 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants in the Mexican border town in 2018.

The Mexican coastal city of Acapulco (110.5) and the Venezuelan capital Caracas (100) follow in second and third place. For comparison: According to the Federal Statistical Office, there were 0.8 homicides for every 100,000 inhabitants in Germany in 2015. The top ten places in the ranking are exclusively Latin American cities: five in Mexico (Tijuana, Acapulco, Ciudad Victoria, Ciudad Juárez, Irapuato), three in Venezuela (Caracas, Ciudad Guayana, Ciudad Bolívar) and two in Brazil (Natal, Fortaleza ). Mexico and Brazil are most frequently represented with 15 and 14 mentions on the list with a total of 50 cities, Europe does not appear at all.

Tijuana is located directly on the border with the USA near San Diego on the US west coast. The main cause of the many homicides in Tijuana are gang crime and drug trafficking. The city is passed by numerous migrants on their way to the USA. Many who are deported from there to Mexico also end up in Tijuana's emergency shelters. According to non-governmental organizations, living conditions there are miserable. Many migrants are victims of violence or end up in the clutches of cartels. The Mexico Institute of the US research center Wilson Center had already warned earlier this month that a humanitarian crisis threatened the US border if the United States deported more Central American migrants to Mexican border towns.

The Federal Foreign Office is currently urgently advising against traveling to the border region with the USA and also to Tijuana. There are also warnings against visiting other Mexican cities on the ranking list, including, for example, staying in the southern Mexican holiday destination Acapulco and visiting the city of Ciudad Juárez in the north of the country, bordering El Paso in the US state of Texas.

In order to stop the violence, "Seguridad, Justicia y Paz" demands, among other things, the legalization of drugs and negotiations with criminal gangs. The organization sees positive development in the Honduran city of San Pedro Sula. While this still took first place in the list from 2011 to 2014, the number of homicides there has fallen by 75 percent in recent years.

The organization's ranking is based on official statistics, press data and statistical forecasts. Cities with more than 300,000 inhabitants that are not in a war zone are taken into account.