Useful Site to Research Crime Statistics for Mexico

Many readers contact me to ask about crime rates and trends in a particular part of Mexico. Since my full-time job is being a retiree and not a crime analyst, I normally point them to two helpful sites:

1) the U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory page, and

2) a Mexico based site called Semáforo Delictivo

Today’s article is about that second site.

Semáforo Delictivo is a privately owned by a watchdog organization whose goal is to accurately report crime trends in Mexico and evaluate the effectiveness of the police in combating crime.

They obtain their statistical data from multiple sources including surveys. Since many crimes may be unreported or improperly classified by authorities, the surveys help to give a more accurate picture of what’s truly going on — or at least in theory that’s how it works.

The statistical data from Semáforo Delictivo is consistently cited by major news outlets both in and outside Mexico.

Here’s a quick rundown on how to use the site:

Video Tutorial in Spanish

For those readers who are fluent in Spanish, I recommend that you watch the video below.The video is far more detailed than the tutorial I created in the next section of the article.

An English Tutorial for the Linguistically Challenged

If your Spanish skills are a bit lacking, you may have trouble navigating the Semáforo Delictivo website because — well, it’s only offered in Spanish.

Normally, I would recommend that you solve this little dilemma by plugging the web address into Google Translate and presto — instant English — however, that little trick won’t work with this particular site.

But, hope is not lost. I have prepared a short tutorial for you and with a little patience, you’ll be checking and comparing crime statistics from across Mexico.

First things first, open the site:

http://semaforo.com.mx/

Performing a Quick Check

The site tracks 11 categories of crimes:

  • Homicide – homicidio
  • Kidnapping – secuestro
  • Extortion extorsión,
  • Narcotics sales – narcomenudeo
  • Theft from a vehicle (burglary) – robo a vehículo
  • Theft from a residence (burglary) – robo a casa
  • Theft from a business (burglary) – robo a negocio
  • Injuries from intentional acts (battery, assault) – lesiones
  • Sexual battery/ rape – violación
  • Domestic violence – violencia familiar
  • Femicide – feminicidio

The site uses traffic signals (called semáforos in Spanish) to give you a quick visual representation if crime is a problem in a particular category. Here’s all you need to know:

Green means that category is down more than 25% from the average for that area.

Yellow is not necessarily bad, it just means that the stats are somewhere between green and red.

Red means that the category is above the average for the area.

You can hover your cursor over any of the traffic lights to see the number of incidents that month. If you click on it, you’ll see detailed historical information.

Changing the Date Range

At the top of the screen, you’ll find drop down menus where you can look for statistics from a particular month and year.

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Obtaining Detailed Data for a Particular State

At the top of the screen you will see a drop down menu called Semáforos Estatales. The states are listed in alphabetical order.

6

When you pull up a particular state, you’ll see crime data broken down by municipality.

Let’s Wrap This Up

Statistical data can also be a bit misleading because it doesn’t tell us anything about the victims. Having been a law enforcement officer for 25 years, I can tell you that victimology is very important in analyzing crime trends and data.

For example, if you read in the paper that there was a home invasion in your town and two people were killed, you might be terrified that someone will soon break into your house.

However, if the investigation revealed that the house was actually a known drug house and that the two victims were gang members, you would probably feel safer — unless of course you were a gang member operating a drug house. In that case, maybe not.

One way to learn more about crime trends, victimology and to identify neighborhoods that are especially dangerous, is to read online newspapers from the area. Most sites also have a search feature that will allow you to easily search through previous articles that are related.

Oh, by the way, most of the news sites that I have checked worked well with Google Translate. Just paste in the URL and voilà!

Well, that’s enough talk about crime. Take care and stay healthy! Hasta Luego. 

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About the Author

Qroo Paul
Paul Kurtzweil (Q-Roo Paul) was a deputy sheriff in Florida for 25 years before retiring at the rank of lieutenant in 2015. He and his wife moved to Mexico looking to maximize their retirement income. They later started a blog called Two Expats Mexico (qroo.us) to share their experiences as well as information about the logistical and legal aspects of retiring south of the border.

8 Comments on "Useful Site to Research Crime Statistics for Mexico"

  1. B Johnson | May 5, 2020 at 9:16 am |

    Thank you so much for this website reference. I have lived in Mexico almost 7 years (mostly In San Miguel de Allende) and didn’t know about this resource. I was shocked to see the amount of crime here during 2020. News about the virus situation has overtaken the crime scene news in the media Ex Pats read. /There have been a lot of high poles and security cameras erected recently. It heightens a sense of insecurity, detracts from the historical charm and beauty of this little city, and feels very Big Brother/1984 like.

    • You’re welcome. I’ve read several news reports about the crime in your area. Well, before the virus came, as you said. Hopefully, things improve in your area soon. Take care.

  2. Robert Boyd | May 5, 2020 at 9:39 am |

    I cannot believe some pay to access information on your site with so much valuable free information available.

    • Qroo Paul | May 5, 2020 at 9:56 am |

      Over 99% of the information that we put out is free. Most of the people who join our pay section (Patreon) do so in order to ask us questions directly and/or participate in our Facebook Live events. Those folks cover the costs of operating the blog so we don’t have to resort to cluttering it up with annoying ads, pop-ups and meaningless sponsored posts.

    • We are Patreon members and the extra information and perks to members are priceless. Yes, what Paul offers for free is invaluable but the fact that is is free is what makes us want to support this blog. Paul is more than generous with his information and asks nothing in return. That alone should make you want support such a great site. In addition there is not another comparable site out there that is as informative, accurate up to date.

  3. “….unless of course you were a gang member operating a drug house. In that case, maybe not.” LOLOLOL!!!

  4. Joseph Healey | May 5, 2020 at 12:37 pm |

    Sorry on the first link from the US, we can’t trust anything coming out of the USA right now due to the people in charge and the untruths they spread! 🙂

  5. Anne Wichmann | May 5, 2020 at 4:34 pm |

    The femicide rate is outrageous. It seems there are few women’s shelters as well?

Comments are closed.