Mexico City is it that dangerous?

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Mar 12th, 2003, 09:00 AM
  #1
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Mexico City is it that dangerous?

I was looking at a safety section in Frommers
where it said: "it's wise to leave valuables in the hotel safe and to take only the cash you'll need for the day, and no credit cards".
I live in NYC and have traveled to quite a few "funky" cities where my "street sense" is in full deployment.
Do I really have to leave my credit cards in the safe ?

Or is this a warning for "gringos" that have never been out of "small town" America?
sapito is offline  
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Mar 12th, 2003, 09:14 AM
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I personally have never used this advice. I think that people who have been visiting Mexico City for years would agree that it is more dangerous than in the past, but in the past it was really very safe indeed, and I think anyone used to being careful in a big city will do just fine in Mexico City. There is the whole cab thing that you are always hearing about, ie, do not hail cabs on the street, particularly the ubiquitous VWs cruising everywhere, and I DO try to observe that by asking a restaurant to call one after dark, etc. There is so much to see and do in Mexico City that it is a shame that so many people are put off by all the crime warnings.
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Mar 12th, 2003, 10:55 AM
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Better safe than sorry. Carry the minimum of valuables and try to blend in. I would go to Mexico City, and have. However, there is a need to very careful as poverty increases and people become more desperate.
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Mar 12th, 2003, 02:30 PM
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We've been to Mexico City a few times. I am careful with cash - usually I don't carry too much - but we also carry our credit cards. To me, it doesn't make a lot of sense to leave it behind in the hotel safe - what if I needed it? I take the usual precautions that I would take anywhere.
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Mar 12th, 2003, 03:51 PM
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Hi Sapito,
I also live in New York and travel to Mexico City often and can assure you that your risk of being robbed and assaulted there is much greater than in New York. Most of my Mexican friends have been robbed or assaulted at least once. My closest friend there has been "express kidnapped" twice. That is where you are "kidnapped" by thieves who take you to an ATM and make you take out the maximum. Sometimes they will keep you overnight to take out the maximum the next day. Mexico City has a very high crime rate and you have to take precautions. Never take the green Volkswagon taxis (take taxis that wait at the taxi stand in front of hotels). Never go to an ATM alone. At night do not wander the city alone. Invest $10 in a money belt and you can keep credit cards there and just keep a small amount of cash in your pockets. A money belt is especially useful on the Mexico City subway where it is very common to be jostled by several people while one grabs your wallet. The staff at your hotel can also be a very good source of safety tips. If you are careful and take the right precautions you can have a safe and exciting visit to a very interesting and enjoyable city.
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