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Is Ciudad Juarez Safe to Travel in 2024? Discussing the Ciudad Juarez Crime Stats

Is Ciudad Juarez safe for tourists? A place that is known for the 1910s Mexican Revolution, Ciudad Juarez is a city in Northern Mexico with various attractions. This includes the Rodadora Interactive Museum, the Center for Document and Study of Handicrafts, and the Cathedral of Our Lady of Guadalupe. However, despite these positive aspects of travel, its reputation has suffered due to a high crime index which is 68.71 as per Numbeo.

Offences in this city often include drug cartels violence, kidnappings, and petty theft. Continue reading to uncover the stats about common crimes. Learn the worth visiting safe spots along with bad regions you should avoid. What’s more, know 10 important tips to help you avoid trouble. Let’s deepen this discussion further!

Is Ciudad Juarez Safe to Visit in 2024 –  Key Takeaways

  1. Cartel Violence Risk – HIGH
  2. Kidnappings Risk – MEDIUM
  3. Fraud Risk – MEDIUM
  4. Petty Theft Risk – HIGH
  5. Level of Danger When Driving –  HIGH
  6. Level of Danger in Buses – LOW
  7. Level of Danger in Taxi – LOW
  8. Level of Danger at Night – HIGH
  9. Bad Areas – Anapra, Los Aztecas, El Barreal
  10. Safe Places – El Chamizal Federal Public Park, Plaza Las Misiones
  11. Crime in Ciudad Juarez compared to other cities in Mexico – Rating based on real reviews from travelers and locals according to Numbeo. Crime index meaning: 0-20 is very low, 20-40 is low, 40-60 is moderate, 60-80 is high, and 80-100 is very high.

CITY

STATE

CRIME INDEX

Guerrero

28.92

Quintana Roo

34.21

Jalisco

35.70

Quintana Roo

36.94

Queretaro

37.55

Sinaloa

39.43

Oaxaca

43.19

 Baja California Sur

43.24

Sonora

45.39

Nuevo León

48.25

Veracruz

49.20

Guanajuato

50.54

Guanajuato

50.94

Сhihuahua

55.49

Quintana Roo

55.73

Michoacan

56.90

Puebla

58.23

Ciudad Juarez

Chihuahua

68.71

Baja California

71.99

U.S. government employees may travel to the area of Ciudad Juarez bounded to the east by Bulevar Independencia, to the south by De los Montes Urales/Avenida Manuel J Clouthier/Carretera de Juárez, to the west by Via Juan Gabriel/Avenida de los Insurgentes/Calle Miguel Ahumada/Francisco Javier Mina/Melchor Ocampo/Santa fe Street Bridge; and to the north by the U.S.- Mexico borderUS Department of State

Why Is Juarez So Dangerous? Discussing the 4 Common Crimes

According to the stats provided by Numbeo, the city’s safety index is 31.29%, considered low. Interactive Observatory of Criminal Incidence also mentions that a total of 17,735 crimes took place in Juarez in 2023.

Elcri’s analysis demonstrates pervasive violence in this city by pinpointing a total of 1,039 homicides from March 2023 to February 2024. Considering these stats, let’s provide an in-depth examination of the four most common crimes in Ciudad Juarez:

Crime in Juarez
Credit: www.elcri.men

Juarez suffers a reputational blow due to ongoing murders because powerful cartels have much control over this city. These cartels include the Sinaloa cartel (CDS) and the Jaurez cartel. They operate primarily on drug dealing but have also engaged in activities such as human trafficking.

Cartel-related Violence Risk in Ciudad Juarez
Credit: www.globalguardian.com

As of February 2024, there is an extreme rise in cartel-related violence activities. Two reasons are the rivalry between gangs, and the infighting to choose the Juárez cartel’s next leader. ABC-7 reports that there have been a total of 125 homicides in January 2024, and at least four have been reported in February already. These cartel-related activities severely put this city among some of the most dangerous cities in Latin America.

2. Kidnappings Risk – Moderate

As Ciudad Juárez is located in the Chihuahua state, it’s been recommended to reconsider traveling because of inflating crime rates, including the possible risks of kidnapping. Considering stats for January-February 2024, a total of 4 kidnappings were reported by the Interactive Observatory of Criminal Incidence.

Kidnappings Risk in Ciudad Juarez

Circuito Frontera reported in 2023 that 40 migrants were victims of kidnapping in Paso del Norte Bridge, Ciudad Juarez. If we go back in time, a report by El Paso del Norte Times indicates that a total of 260 kidnapping and disappearance cases have come to light as of July 26th, 2022.

Important! The State Attorney General’s Office in Mexico (FGE) shared that around 81% or 210 of these cases come from the northern part of the Chihuahua State, where Ciudad Juárez and two other municipalities are situated.

In light of such events, you need to practice enough caution such as staying in contact with your embassy, traveling in groups, and choosing reliable taxis such as Uber.

3. Fraud Risk – Moderate

Juarez being located in Chihuahua state faces fraud issues due to its closeness with the Rio Grande River separates the United States border crossing and the tourist population. If I discuss the issues related to fraud in the state, 5601 cases were reported according to the Mexican Government.

If I specifically talk about Ciudad Juarez, US travel advisory states that there have been reports of scammers near the consulate. But, due to underreporting and lack of trust in law enforcement, the full extent of financial fraud remains unknown. Given such circumstances, allow me to share some of the most common types of frauds and scams in the city:

Fraud Risk in Ciudad Juarez

1. Real Estate and Rental Fraud

Unfortunately, real estate and rental fraudsters are rampant, targeting locals and foreigners looking for rental or purchase properties. Scammers use methods ranging from listing nonexistent listings for rent/sale to fraudulently collecting deposits/first month’s rent before suddenly disappearing into thin air.

This way, they take advantage of the high demand in areas frequented by tourists alike. In essence, look for websites that have reputable franchises like Century 21. You can also double check the status of a real estate property being sold in Chihuha by confirming with the Public Property Registry by Chihuahua Gobierno Del Estado.

2. Phishing and Identity Theft

In our digitalized society, phishing and identity theft have become all too frequent. Scammers in Ciudad Juarez may use emails, text messages, or phone calls purporting to come from trusted organizations to deceive victims into providing personal details. Fraudsters can then use these for illegal transactions such as accessing bank accounts.

Thus making unwarranted purchases online or opening new accounts under their names. In case you have to encounter such unfortunate circumstances, you can report phishing attempts to the Anti-phishing Working Group and FTC for identity theft scams.

Phishing and Identity Theft in Juarez

3. Fake Products and Services

Recent years in the city have witnessed an alarming upsurge in scams. These include counterfeit products, services for sale at markets, or fraudulent online stores offering high-value items at drastically reduced prices. These products may include merchandise like fake makeup sets, jewelry, and fake designer clothes and electronics.

Most often, they target tourists and new residents less familiar with local market pricing structures or sources. PROFECO (Procuraduría Federal del Consumidor) is a Mexican consumer protection agency where you can file a complaint about any fake product or service fraud by either their website or phone number: 55 5568 8722.

4. Petty Theft Risk – High

Ciudad Juarez in Mexico has long been plagued with high rates of petty crime, such as pickpocketing and snatch theft in public areas. According to the latest Numbeo stats, the problem property crimes such as vandalism and theft have seen a percentage of 72% rate in Ciudad Juarez. This shows that the risk of petty theft is moderately high in the city.

Petty Theft Risk in Juarez

If you are made a victim of any petty theft crimes, you can easily report it to Fiscalía General del Estado de Chihuahua (FGE), the State Attorney General’s Office for Chihuahua State. It supervises Ciudad Juarez along with other cities and municipalities.

What are the Bad Areas to Avoid in Ciudad Juarez?

In Ciudad Juarez, there are a handful of places you should keep vary of, as they have a reputation for being harmful to tourists. To keep your tour as relaxing as possible, here are the 3 bad areas to avoid in the city:

Bad Areas to Avoid in Ciudad Juarez
  1. Anapra: It is a dangerous area that visitors should best avoid. Two incidents took place in 2023: a man was shot by two men in a supermarket parking lot, as per El Tintero. In another case, a chase took place on the Paso del Norte Bridge, which ended in one being injured and one deceased, according to El Heraldo de Juarez.
  2. Los Aztecas: Los Aztecas is also a hazardous point for travelers and citizens alike. Many cases were reported last year, such as the case where a man was shot to death in the area in October. Two more cases took place in December, one of which was 2 bodies that were found dumped in the Azteca neighborhood. NMAS news reports another shooting attack in which attackers left 1 dead in Azteca streets.
  3. El Barreal: Barreal is one of the remarkably mysterious places in Ciudad Juarez that has a history of tragic incidents. In 2023, two cases were reported. In November, 3 dead bodies were spotted in an area of El Barreal, as per El Imparcial. A similar homicide incident was reported in December when the body of a woman with bruises was found in the area – El Diario mx reports. Another case came to light in February 2024. El Diario mx says that relatives of men shot at El Barreal, out of which one died on the spot and one was injured.

How Dangerous Is Juarez For Road Travel: Complete Guide to Transportation

Local transit is a dire need of many tourists, and if you plan to visit Juarez, you must be aware of the different possibilities. Let’s take a look at how safe other transport options are for you in the city:

1. Is it Safe to Drive in Ciudad Juarez? High Risk

Driving in Ciudad Juarez may not be considered exceptionally safe. Numbeo’s safety index for the city stands at 31, indicating greater caution should be exercised when traveling here. Car theft issues have become serious concerns here. Regarding Numbeo crime indexes are 66 for cars being stolen and 74 for valuables stolen from cars on average in recent years, which is high. This report is further cemented by Semaforo’s report indicating 189 car theft incidents in January 2024 alone.

Is it Safe to Drive in Ciudad Juarez

Although the primary roadways of Mexico City, including Pan-American Highway 45 (Mexican Federal Highway 45), are kept up well for driving. To ensure a safer driving experience, you should:

  1. Consider adopting non-descript vehicles to not draw any unnecessary attention from passing drivers or authorities.
  2. Avoid leaving valuables visible inside your vehicle and travel during daylight hours.

Also, by car you can access some exciting venues across the city, including:

  1. Plaza de la Mexicanidad;
  2. Parque Central Hermanos Escobar;
  3. La Rodadora Espacio Interactivo;
  4. Samalayuca Dune Fields;
  5. Casa de Adobe.

2. Safety in Buses in Ciudad Juarez – Low Risk

Public transport in Ciudad Juarez, particularly buses, tends to be safe. According to the Interactive Observatory of Criminal Incidence, only 13 cases were reported related to theft on public transport in 2023.

However, you can fall prey to pickpocketing, especially in crowded places. The following are a few reliable and secure bus services in the area:

Safety in Buses in Ciudad Juarez
  1. Omnibus Mexicanos;
  2. Transportes Chihuahuenses;
  3. Ciudad Juárez Municipal Transport.

Another noteworthy option is the Bus Rapid Transit ‘BRT’ system — also locally called Metrobús. It proves to be a safer, faster, and more cost-efficient transit option throughout the city. While traveling on buses, remember precautions like staying vigilant and avoiding traveling at nighttime.

3. Safety in Taxis in Ciudad Juarez – Low Risk

Taxis are a relatively efficient and safe mode of transport in the city for both residents and tourists. They pose low risks, as compared to public transport. The only notable risks in taxis are mugging or fake drivers that may overcharge you.

Safety in Taxis in Juarez

Therefore, it is recommended that you negotiate fares before riding the can and stay vigilant during travel. That said, here are some taxi services you should opt for the safe travel:

  1. Yellow Cab Ciudad Juarez;
  2. AndaleRide;
  3. Uber.

Is Ciudad Juarez Safe at Night? Discussing the Crime Rate in Juarez Mexico – High Risk

Ciudad Juárez is unsafe to walk or travel at night. Given Numbeo’s research, the city’s safety index for individuals walking alone at night time is only 25%, which is alarming and considerably extremely dangerous. Robberies and frauds are viable at this time in the city, along with high kidnapping risks.

Is Ciudad Juarez Safe at Night

However, some areas still have been proven relatively safe for travelers, even in the darkness of the night. According to Wikivoyage, these areas include the streets of Av. Juárez, and some popular tourist destinations, the neighborhoods and border towns surrounding it. But, it is better to travel in groups and stay as much in a well-lit area as possible.

What Are the Safe Places to Visit in Ciudad Juarez?

Even though Ciudad Juarez has been a turf of high-risk crimes, the city still has some places that are worth visiting. A couple of the popular tourist destinations visiting Juarez are listed as follows:

The Safest Places in Ciudad Juarez
  1. El Chamizal Federal Public Park: This park, as well as the many areas surrounded by it like Partido Romero and Fronteriza Alta colony, are considered safe. Many families from those areas visit this park occasionally, along with their kids, to enjoy a quality family picnic there.
  2. Plaza Las Misiones: It is a mall and a hotel located in Ciudad Juárez, its services are deemed pretty safe. On Tripadvisor, this place has 139 ratings, of which 66 are excellent remarks, and 39 are very good remarks. You can shop and try out different delicious meals here safely.

The Most Important Safety Tips for Ciudad Juarez Listed!

Let me share some safety tips that you must keep in check while you tour Ciudad Juarez:

  1. Get Insurance: Travel insurance is necessary for any trip. It covers health and theft cases, lost items, and trip cancellations. A good travel insurance recommendation of Ciudad Juarex is American Visitor Insurance.
  2. Avoid Drug Dealing: Stay as far as you can from any drug-related activities or drug dealings. These immediately put you at a high risk legally while also increasing your exposure to the city’s harmful elements, like a feud with cartels. Mexico has stringent drug laws, and even if you are a tourist, strict action will be taken regardless. The Juárez plaza is a place you must avoid in this regard as it’s one of Mexico’s most incidental smuggling areas.
  3. Keep a Check on Local News: Local News like El Diario de Juarez will keep you enlightened and updated about the recent happenings in the city. This way, you can avoid road closures and crime-related areas and have a peaceful stay at Ciudad Juárez. 
  4. Use Reputable Travel Options: Reputable and safe travel options should be considered when traveling. Uber and Sitio taxis, as well as BRT, are swift and one of the safest options in the city.
  5. Don’t Keep More Money Than Necessary: The use of credit cards is recommended most of the time. Other than that, it would be best to keep around MXN600 to MXN1000 for day-to-day travel, according to Numbeo.
  6. Keep an Eye on the Weather: The weather conditions can vary at any place. The same is the case with this city. Therefore, it’s best to check weather conditions with the help of reputable sources like AccuWeather.
  7. Buy Safety Bags: Protecting your belongings against theft is more accessible with anti-theft bags equipped with RFID blocking features, like reinforced straps and lockable zippers that offer superior tamper resistance.
  8. Learn Some Spanish Phrases: Although most residents in the city speak English, knowing basic Spanish will enhance your experience and help make navigating this city simpler. Simply learning phrases such as directions, ordering food, or emergencies could go a long way. To learn some common Spanish phrases, especially for travelers, I found this guide by Rosetta Stone quite helpful.
  9. Stay in Well-lit Areas at Night: Exploring the city at night can reveal a different experience, but stick to well-lit, popular areas. Being unaware can put your safety in jeopardy, from theft to a more grave threat such as violent crime.
  10. Respect Local Customs and Traditions: Being familiar with and adhering to local traditions can enhance your travel experience and foster mutual respect between yourself and locals.

FAQs

Which is safer Tijuana or Juarez?

Juraez is safer than Tijuana. BorderReport mentions that according to the Citizens Council for Public Safety and Criminal Justice, the homicide rate of Juarez is 104 per 100,000 inhabitants, while that of Tijuana is 134 per 100,000 inhabitants, entailing that Juarez is comparatively safer.

Is Juarez, Mexico City, safe for tourists?

Juarez, Mexico City, isn’t safe for tourists. This is mainly because the city’s crime index is at 68.71% which is considered high and dangerous as per Numbeo.

How safe is Juarez right now?

The safety index of Ciudad Juarez as per Numbeo is only 31.29% which is low. It makes Juarez a dangerous city for not only citizens but also travelers.

How violent is Juarez, Mexico?

Juarez, Mexico, has a violent crime level ranging from 65% – 74%. The city is considered dangerous because of the presence of criminal organizations and a high number of homicides.

Conclusion

Let me conclude the facts! Is Ciudad Juárez safe for tourists? It has a crime index of 68.71% as per Numbeo, which is quite high and relatively unsafe for tourists. Most of the common crimes in the city are cartel violence, kidnappings, and petty theft.

Ciudad Juarez is found in the Chihuahua state, and the U.S. government has issued an advisory for its citizens visiting the state by advising “reconsider travel.” It is best if you avoid bad areas like Anapra, Aztecas, and El Barreal. In essence, some of the safest areas worth visiting are the  Plaza Las Misiones and Federal Public Park.

Lastly, exercise normal precautions such as getting travel insurance, buying safety bags, keeping in well-lit areas, and respecting the traditions to have a safe trip to Ciudad Juarez.