Crime in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

Crime rates in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

Level of crime
66.59 High
Crime increasing in the past 3 years
82.20 Very High
Worries home broken and things stolen
55.51 Moderate
Worries being mugged or robbed
51.51 Moderate
Worries car stolen
41.15 Moderate
Worries things from car stolen
54.50 Moderate
Worries attacked
39.83 Low
Worries being insulted
21.33 Low
Worries being subject to a physical attack because of your skin color, ethnic origin, gender or religion
13.99 Very Low
Problem people using or dealing drugs
48.61 Moderate
Problem property crimes such as vandalism and theft
66.24 High
Problem violent crimes such as assault and armed robbery
57.76 Moderate
Problem corruption and bribery
72.92 High

Safety in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

Safety walking alone during daylight
83.05 Very High
Safety walking alone during night
42.44 Moderate

Contributors: 119

Last update: December 2022

These data are based on perceptions of visitors of this website in the past 3 years.

If the value is 0, it means it is perceived as very low, and if the value is 100, it means it is perceived as very high.

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27 Comments so far
CECILIA on Dec 15, 2021:
One thing nobody mentions when they say crime on the raise in Mexico: The USA has sold (illegally) tons of guns to all the cartels and other criminals the last few years. It is widely known that the goverment pourposly creates a distabilization of some countries for it's own benefit. It is still, however; safer than many places in the US. You just have to stay away from drugs.
UnclePen on Oct 09, 2021:
Wow, it is really a difficult prognosis and creates a quandary for American (and other) travelers.I want to go back to Mexico, but reading crime reports it makes me very nervous. Is the government even in control anymore?
Richard on Aug 31, 2021:
Don't listen to a casual visitor, I lived there for 8 years, and it is quietly dangerous. They never publicise the real statistics for fear of tourism loss. Check out sanmiguelsincensura for more accurate info. It is the most corrupt place I have ever lived in, including 20 years in other parts of Mexico, southern Europe and North Africa. Visit but be smart and dont make dumb assumptions and paint an erroneous wide brush stroke of, "oh, they are all so friendly".
Greg on Aug 23, 2021:
Just got back from SMA and this crime wave is totally overblown. The Centro and surrounding areas were completely safe. A lot of outlying areas are considered part of SMA and that is where the trouble is and it's small. SMA is safe and I live in the South Beach area of Miami Beach Florida. That's far more dangerous than tame SMA and even that is safe.
doright on Aug 18, 2021:
I would ask folks to be aware and not be be willfully ignorant.

"The town of Celaya is a defacto hell-hole. It is called the "The most Violent City in the World" by the Rio Times. Do you know how far it is from SMA? 35 miles." (

"Current SMA homicide (reported) is on track to be over 120 in 2020. That is 120 per 100,000. The murder rate in the US is 5.

SMA murder rate is twice that of the highest murder rate city in the US.

(ss John Aston on Sep 03, 2020:, below)

"According to the San Miguel Times last July, "70 murders [occurred] in less than 10 months in San Miguel de Allende', which translates to about 90/yr, or about the 120 rate as per 100,000 (as per KL on Mar 28, 2020:)

For all crimes, property and violent, in the US, only 25% are solved. I suspect it is way lower in Mexico and SMA, as with the crimes reported rate, as well.

Criminals, generally, like to be unseen, by witnesses, during their activity. So, it is of no surprise that many folks have not seen it. That would be the norm.

Stay safe, don't be ignorant. Stay informed.
Stan on Jul 28, 2021:
What you must realize is that Mexico is a police state and the police are not even in control. The are bought and paid for by the cartels. In fact, the police work in concert with the cartels in many instances. It is estimated that 1/3 of Mexican territory is lawless and controlled by the cartels. Things are happening all around the state of Guanajuato: murders, road blocks, explosions, attacks of all sorts perputrated by the cartels. They are vile and vicious murderers and have no human compassion in their souls. Businesses are being extorted in SMA, the police are bought off, murders are not reported for fear of retribution. The town of Celaya is a defacto hell-hole. It is called the "The most Violent City in the World" by the Rio Times. Do you know how far it is from SMA? 35 miles. What the expats in SMA don't realize or want to admit to themselves is that all of this is going on around them and they don't want to see it. Yes, on any given day, you will be ok but your risk goes up by the day. The cartels are gaining control of the state and you might not get out. Look at what is happening in Michoacan right now. The city of Aguililla is literally being taken over by the cartels to the point where they control who comes in and who goes out. This is happening in 2021! President Obregon says, "hugs, not bullets." He is living in a dream world with no connection to reality. It is a truly cavilier and cruel position to take. If something does happen, police will not investigate. They are afraid to know where it will lead them because they know where it will lead them: to the cartels. Police are being hunted and killed in the state of Guanajuato. To say that SMA is safe is truly naive. To compare Mexico to the U.S. is absurd. The US does not have roving bands of cartels running around and controlling the roads! Completely different and not comparable in any way shape or form. I was considering going, but I won't after my research. The mexican government doesn't have the power to control any of this and I'm not sure it wants to anymore. It doesn't have the stomach for it. Whenever anyone stands up to the cartels, they are killed along with their family. President Obregon has declared by his policies and words to the cartels they have free reign to carry on their activies with impunity. Mexico and its people are so beautiful and I wish I could vacation there but I won't take the risk nor will I reward the Mexican state with my business when it refuses to protect its own people, much less its visitors.
June Kimmel on Mar 27, 2021:
I am so confused! Thinking about moving to Mexico. Looked at Puerto Vallarta a Merida. Next was going to be San Miguel. Son looked at crime report and said no way it’s very dangerous! True or not?! I don’t worry about such things usually but definitely want to live in a peaceful place. Help!!!
dm on Dec 04, 2020:
The majority in the crime in Mexico, including San Miguel is drug related....cartel related....yes, there are dishonest police officers....there have always been....but, I've been living here for 6 years, friends that have been living here for 40 years without issues.....if you are considering Mexico it comes with the territory everywhere....but, I've never felt safer walking in the central during the day or night.
John Aston on Sep 03, 2020:
San Miguel de Allende, Mexico (Administrative unit: Guanajuato) - last known population is ≈ 72 400 (year 2014). This was 0.058% of total Mexico population. If population growth rate would be same as in period 2010-2014 (+0.91%/year), San Miguel de Allende population in 2020 would be: 76 465*. Current homicide (reported) is on track to be over 120 in 2020. This is a murder rate of 1 in 520 citizens of San Miguel . Kidnapping is on the rise as are all violent crimes though very few are reported or disclosed in crime figures. Let me put it in perspective. If SMA was included in US crime statistics of the cities with the most homicides per capita San Miguel De Allende would be number 1 on the list beating the top US city (St Louise MO) for homicide rate per capita by almost double. For those thinking of retiring I advise you not to believe all that city officials are saying about low crime numbers. How many of you would consider retiring to a small town in the USA with that is twice as violent as the most dangerous city in the USA. Not many takers I would guess.
KL on Mar 28, 2020:
When we moved here almost 13 years ago, murders occurred once or twice a year in Sam Miguel, including the surrounding area like Atotonilco. At that time, most of the very low violent crime was domestic. According to the San Miguel Times last July, "70 murders [occurred] in less than 10 months in San Miguel de Allende ... including that of a teenage girl who apparently died in crossfire."
chris m. on Feb 25, 2020:
As a New Yorker living in San Miguel de Allende for over 2 years, I cannot believe the comments posted. Many of the comments are incredible to say the least. I have lived in this great community for several years and I have never seen any muggings, robberies or beatings as stated in the comments. Many of you are unjustifiably making false stories of crime incidents that are completely fabricated. I live here full time and I know my neighbors and tiendita owners very well, and
we talk daily of what is happening in SMA. Sure there is crime like any city in the USA. There is daily muggings in California, Texas and Seattle. And yes there is crime, however the crime wave is not what many of you make it out to be. As Americans we are our own worst enemy when we spread lies and create insecurity in SMA. We are guests here and no one promised us a crime free paradise. When you find a crime paradise let us all know. In the meantime love SMA or go home.
Gary G. on Feb 14, 2020:
We have had a house in San Miguel for 12 years and came each winter for several months. Our house was in a small colonia above Colonia San Rafael which is considered a sketchy neighborhood. We never had a problem and for many years walked through that colonia at night on our way home from restaurants. Nobody said anything negative to us. But we have many friends who have told us different stories of friends being robbed and beaten. We know of all the violence and death in Mexico because of cartels the last decade but never saw examples of this in San Miguel. But things are different now. Murders are more commonplace as well as crime in general. Everything still seems the same during the day but it is not. The police are ill trained and not trusted by the locals. How the Mayor can proclaim that gangs and violence are not on the rise leads me to believe he is on the take. Except for this criminal element San Miguel as well many wonderful cities in Mexico are great places to enjoy the food, people, architecture and history of this culture. Somebody has to come in and put the hammer down on this small element that is ruining it for everyone.
Juan C. on Jan 26, 2020:
My wife and I are visiting San Miguel end of April of 2020. We've been looking at places in Mexico where we want to retire to by late 2021.

We started off in Puerto Vallarta. We liked it. But, humidity, being a sort of party town, these things turned us off. Not that we're against moving there. We just want to 1st explore central Mexico before deciding.

October of 2019 we hit the city of Guanajuato for a week. We loved it. We did come across a couple of seedy moments. One included a cab driver that kept insisting we're rich. It got very uncomfortable. We felt like we were about to get robbed. Luckily, we did not. We made him drop us off at a near by bodega. Another time we noticed the same guy showing up at this place we liked to eat at. It didn't matter what time or day. We showed up and then minutes later so would he. It seemed like more than just a coincidence. Our AirBnB host did tell us that crime is on the rise in the city. That gangs are pushing meth. Another cab driver did tell us that security is a concern and to be careful.

Now we're off to San Miguel. We were hoping, like Puerto Vallarta, that a large expat community would offer at least some kind of confidence in security. But, reading article after article, comment after comment, we're left with a feeling of uneasiness. I'm honestly thinking about seeing if Aeromexico will let us change our flight to Puerto Vallarta and just cancelling out trip to San Miguel. We don't want to give up on certain parts of Mexico, or just forget about moving to Mexico. We love the country, people, culture, food, etc. But, no amount of political correctness will allow me to put us in harms way.

We even contacted our AirBnB host and asked her what she knows about these issues in San Miguel. She told us the consulate was having a meeting and would ask about these issues.
Her reply on 1/25/20:
"Didn't learn to much from the Consulate meeting yesterday. Just that our state here is a level 2 out of 4 for safety in Mexico. They didn't discuss extortion or crime, just that Gringos should report these issues to the consulate so they can keep track of any incidents. Also said we gringos are guests in this country, eventho many of us are paid residents, and have no control over the Mexican government. I had hoped for more info but that's all we got"

I'm not sure what kind of answer I was expecting. But this reply doesn't help. Seems like the local government is trying to downplay the increases in criminal activity.

Any comments on what we should do?
Martin on Jan 19, 2020:
The last time I was in San Miguel I hired a car to take me back to the airport. It was driven by a local and was a regular car, nothing that looked like a car service. A few miles from the airport the driver asked if I would sit in the front seat with him and pay him now, I asked him why? He said that when we pull up to the airport he wants me to open my own door and walk to the back of the car for my luggage and at that point he would hug me and wish me a good trip as if I were a cousin leaving on holiday. Again, I asked why? He said that if the police saw us exchange money they would follow him out of the airport, pull him over and take the money.

Sadly, not only do you have to worry about cartels in San Miguel, the locals have to worry about the police.
Ann on Jan 15, 2020:
This is bad.. we go every year and I’m concerned about the ride from the airport to San Miguel. I always make my flight so we arrive during the day.. I’m worried about how safe we are on our ride to San Miguel.. we get a private driver..not a van...and also how safe I will be in the hotel very close to the square .. My husband likes to stay out rather late and I go in early..Thanks!!
anonymous on Dec 06, 2019:
The comments here have been helpful but it is so sad to hear about what is happening in SMA. I was there about 12 years ago house sitting and thought about retirement there. A crime rate as high as the ones mentioned here and in some other statistics (50 murders in the first half of 2019 alone) is certainly disconcerting for such a small town. That is an extremely high rate. I can understand why the mayor and other residents would be in denial or try to hush-hush these kinds of statistics. Not only tourism would be affected but expats would see property values decline as potential buyers who get scared off by the violence stop moving to SMA. It is very sad to read about what is happening to this lovely city.
Snooky on Nov 11, 2019:
I have lived in SMA for a little over six years. In the time I have been here it has changed significantly - however, this year it’s gotten worse and worse every month. Home robberies, extortion, people being attacked on the streets, and worst of all - the gun violence. There are less that 100K people living in this city, and there have been over 100 murders since January. Crime is not reported, the police are not trained, and after the two police got shot a few months ago, more than half the police force quit. The lawlessness in general in Mexico is mind boggling. But to see what is happening here, and with so many people in denial, it’s only going to get worse. It’s very sad, because the majority of the local people here are very kind, hard working, and honest. :(
Anonymous on Nov 05, 2019:
Just visited SMA late October 2019. Met an expat woman who showed me a picture of her boyfriend standing next to a bed in the hospital with blood all over the bed and three bandages over his chest where three bullets had gone in the front and out the back. It had happened "recently", and she said "he was in the wrong place at the wrong time". Doesn't even count as one of the recent shootings in the count given to the media. Could have been a cartel shooting , or he could have be an innocent bystander - both cases deserve to be reported but no mention in stats or media.
Makes me realize numbers are being mis-reported/minimized by the police and other officials so as not to scare the tourists away. Apparently the 5 bars that closed down last month in order to avoid extortion by the cartels didn't report it to the police because they were afraid the police had informants/cartel members in the ranks. Crime numbers are not accurate. I wont be going back to SMA any time soon, sadly.
TCJ on Oct 03, 2019:
I wish for San Miguel to fix their police system so there is safety. How can people truly feel safe if the thieves can get away with crime and there is no follow up on them scaring whoever they want? This is unfair to the good people there. People have to insist on change together. When is this going to happen?
Bob on Sep 18, 2019:
The worst thing that can happen to you in SMA is that after a week you may die of boredom.
Anonymous on Aug 30, 2019:
I lived in SMA on and off from 1993-2010. My mother still lives there. Crime is up, and only good to get worse before it gets better. My family and I left ten years ago because it didn’t feel safe then. I had lived there a long time and felt the writing on the wall. It felt sad to sell the little piece of property we had planned to build our dream house on and raise our new little family in, but the armed guards outside of our children’s kindergarten made us reaper couldn’t raise children in the anew San Miguel. Recently I have been hearing really disturbing reports from friends and family who have lived in SMA for a long time. They want to leave. This may blow over, but it is real. People don’t want tourism and property values to be negatively affected. That is not a legitimate reason to put innocent people in harm’s way. If you are a tourist, especially one that doesn’t speak Spanish or is new to Mexico you may be oblivious to the real danger around you. People who have businesses and multimillion dollar homes don’t want to admit what’s going on because they have a lot at stake. They pretended everything is overblown. The bottom line is that the cartels are in San Miguel. For years that was everyone’s biggest fear. Now it’s happened. Two months ago my seventy-one year old mother heard what sounded like firecrackers outside of her house. When she went to investigate there was a young man dead in the street in front of her house. She has lived in SMA for twenty years. She said “I have never seen a dead body like that before just lying in the dust.” We were fortunate to have a lot of Mexican friends. When we left they said they understood. They would leave too, but they couldn’t. I felt like a traitor leaving them behind.
MarieV on Aug 27, 2019:
I do not understand people defending the crime rates in San Miguel de Allende that have risen dramatically since February 2019 and comparing it to crime rates in major cities in the U.S.
The last census states the population of San Miguel is 132,397 with 62,034 living in the town proper and the rest scattered in small communities, some as small as 50 ppl. It is silly to compare that with cities in the U.S. with populations and areas 10 or 20 times that of San Miguel de Allende.
I have vacationed in Mexico over the last 25 years at least 25 times to cities and small towns across Mexico. One of the reasons is the people of Mexico which I have found to be nothing but kind, gentle, welcoming and friendly. I also love the beauty of Mexico, it’s coastal as well as mountain regions. This is why I planned to retire in San Miguel. I wanted to live out the rest of my days in this beautiful country and try to give back something for all the pleasure I and my children had experienced in all the time we spent there.

I was researching and planning for months and was finally ready for my exploratory trip to check it out for myself and find my place to live.

I was so excited I joined a couple of Facebook groups and would read the news of the day in the local and national papers every few days and could hardly wait to get there.

I then started reading about it not being safe to travel the main highway at night because of carjackings, then there were some home invasions with people being beaten, shootings, local businesses having to pay the cartels to do business and many other things. I was saddened and extremely disappointed and finally made the extremely tough decision to cancel my plans.
I know the government, locals and some expats play down the violence because if tourists stop coming it is bad for everyone. I don’t want to hurt the people of Mexico that have been so good to me. But I am not going to lie about it.
I hope and pray that President Obrador along with help from his allies can do something to make the country safe again for the people of Mexico and all of us around the world that love to visit and live in the beautiful country of Mexico.

If that happens before our planet burns up, I would love to retire there. But not now.
AT on Jul 24, 2019:
I have lived in SMA for two years and had visited three times in previous years before moving here. The past 8 months have seen a huge rise in homicides. 70 since January of this year. Yesterday two of our neighborhood policemen were gunned down after being lured to a house by a 911 call. This was 6 blocks from my home at 1pm in the afternoon on a major Avenida. Last month a 13 year old girl was killed along with a 20 year old woman in a drive by at a taco stand! They were not the target. Extortion is beyond control and if the business does not pay up to the cartel, they and their family members are shot and killed. In January, I passed by a dead body on the street, I missed seeing the actual murder by about 10 minutes. This is not your grandmother's San Miguel de Allende! It is changing and not for the better!
Very on Jul 20, 2019:
We lived in SMA and spent many years afterwards on extended visits. Speak fluent Spanish and were very embedded in the local and ex-pat community. We have many friends there. We left because of the amazing uptick in violence. No, it is not safe. And what people fail to take into consideration is the level of police and civil protection. You are pretty much on your own. Try reading the regional Spanish language newspapers instead of arguing this point on ex-pat forums and you will begin to appreciate the degree to which violence is a reality in the area. We are international travelers, too, and I studied statistics, and these figures resonate with my experience. Not as bad as a ghetto in Baltimore to one poster's point, but it is not "safe as milk." The locals certainly think they have a problem. As one wise person said, don't leave your brains at the border.
Mar on May 16, 2019:
Crime is SMA is worse than this! 40 murders in 5 months! Anytime of the days and everywhere: markets, gas stations,homes in front of playgrounds, bars. Home and car robberies have increased a lot too! It is sad that people don't take it seriously and keep saying is as dangerous as any other city on the world. There's only 200,000 people in San Miguel! Crime is high for a small town in Mexico.

If you are an "international traveler" staying at a nice hotel, that might not feel like a big deal, or if you live inside the gringo bubble. But What about the people who have nothing to compare with? No where else to go? Y'all talking like nothing is happening just because it didn't happen to you. Authorities hiding it because affects tourism. Not fair, not cool.
Donna on May 13, 2019:
We are international house/pet sitters as well, as we leave for San Miguel de Allende in a few days. We will be housesitting for three weeks. We are not worried about crime there. Crime is everywhere. We are travelers who read beyond the headlines. When you do that, you discover the real cause behind much of the criminal activity - drug cartels, crimes of passion etc. That's not to say that the stats are wrong, but stats are stats and can be used in many ways - as scare tactics, for political gain and so on. As always, we are careful in terms of where we go and what we do in foreign countries. We are looking forward to our visit to SMA, a new area of Mexico for both of us.
John C Hersey on Apr 22, 2019:
We are international house/pet sitters and have traveled all over Europe, Australia, Bali, Vietnam, Thailand, France, and the Netherlands over the past two years without any worry about crime. Now we are considering a 6 month stay in San Miguel de Allende (where we stayed for 5 weeks 5 years ago) and articles such as this are showing up. Our last visit to SMA was wonderful with no worries at all about crime. Please give us your opinions today. Thanks...