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State Officials Concerned With Increase In Crime In Los Cabos

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During the spring peak travel season in March, crime was unfortunately on the increase in both Los Cabos and La Paz.

While there is some seasonality in the numbers due to the influx of Spring Break travelers, the increase has Baja California Sur state government officials concerned.

Police Cabo Vendor

Regional Rise in Violent Crimes

Every month, the Baja California Sur state police release the “stoplight report” that color codes the incident of crime in the region according to a stoplight. Green is considered good, yellow is a warning and red of course is a danger sign.

In March, eight of the eleven crime stoplights were red in Baja California Sur. In particular, the red lights were associated with the crimes of homicide, extortion, drug dealing, home robbery, injuries, rape and family violence.

Meanwhile, vehicle theft and business theft were yellow and the lone green light was for sequestration.

Police on patrol at crime scene

Crime in Los Cabos and La Paz

In Los Cabos, eight of the eleven lights were also red. Serious crimes like homicide, sequestration and femicide, however, were green.

The total number of crimes in Los Cabos accounted for 55 percent of all of the crimes in the region. Troubling crimes included 22 rapes and 35 drug dealing offenses.

Crime in La Paz increased from two red lights to six during the March period. Drug dealing and rape crimes were on the rise in La Paz.

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Person Handcuffed and being escorted by two police officers

Overall Picture

While there were some expectations that the increased rate of visitors to Los Cabos and La Paz during the peak spring travel season would be an increase in crime, the statistics are still troubling.

Mexico overall is struggling with the impact of drug dealing and narcotraffic activity. While Baja California Sur has not seen much of an impact from the narcotraffic trade, there have been issues in the area around dealing in fentanyl.

Municipal police in Mexico

In fact, recently, the Los Angeles Times did a significant investigative story about fentanyl-laced pills being sold illegally in pharmacies across Baja California Sur, and especially in Los Cabos.

This led to a series of surprise random investigations by federal, state, and local authorities reviewing the operational policies and procedures of several pharmacies in Los Cabos and La Paz.

Several were cited for cutting pills and other offenses. One was closed but was allowed to reopen once the found serious issues were resolved.

Man At A Pharmacy In Mexico

The United States Department of State has Baja California Sur at level two, or the level where they recommend tourists exercise increased caution in the area due to criminal activity. However, this level has not been adjusted for some time.

According to the United States Department of State website, “There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees in Baja California Sur state, which includes tourist areas in: Cabo San Lucas, San Jose del Cabo, and La Paz.”

Tourist Awareness is Needed

Tourists In The Los Cabos Marina

While some of the crimes involved tourists, they were not a majority of the cases in either Los Cabos or La Paz.

However, tourists need to remain diligent and observant of situations where they find themselves in. That recommendation is not unique to Los Cabos, La Paz or even Mexico. It’s also good to be aware and careful in any country outside the United States.

That means tourists should be aware of their surroundings and not put themselves in dangerous situations.

Tourists Walking In The Cabo San Lucas Marina

For tourists, Los Cabos and La Paz are generally safe locations as long as the traveler takes normal precautions. Most of which are actually common sense when traveling to a foreign country.

In the event of issues, it is strongly advised that tourists have travel insurance for the duration of their vacation stay in Los Cabos and La Paz.

Visitors should also promptly report any suspicious activity in tourist areas of La Paz and Los Cabos to local officials or by calling 911. They should also report any criminal activity that occurs to them during their vacation stay in Los Cabos.

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Tuesday 30th of May 2023

One traveling to Cabo should exercise caution consuming alcoholic mixed drinks in restaurants and bars. My husband and I were drugged when we ordered a margarita at a well known beachside bar in Cabo. Another family member traveling to Cabo during spring break was drugged at a well known bar and then assaulted and robbed when leaving the bar disoriented. As a rule, we never drink an open container in restaurants or bars when traveling in Cabo. It’s risky and just leaves one vulnerable to being assaulted, robbed or worse.