How safe is San Carlos, Sonora, MexicoBy
Is it Safe to Travel in Sonora?
Safety Update: January 2014
Traveling south of the border has always had its inherent risks. In many ways Mexico is still a developing nation, and rich gringos who flaunt their affluence may become targets for crime. Crimes against tourists are still very rare however, as most Mexicans welcome visitors and public places are typically well protected.
However, since Mexican President Felipe Calderon began a war on illicit drug trafficking in December of 2006, more than 25,000 people have been killed in related violence and many areas of the nation have literally become war zones.
News stories have portrayed horrific acts of violence, usually committed between members of one cartel and another, between cartel members and police, or, more recently, murders of political figures and government officials by the drug cartels.
Sonora’s location as a border state with the United States and its having a highway route west to Tijuana and California have made it one of the primary routes for transporting drugs from southern Mexico to the United States.
As such, there have been violent incidents reported in Sonora. It is important to note though, that the level of violence has not been anywhere near the levels experienced in places like Ciudad Juarez and the Texas/Chihuahua border, or in other states like Nuevo Leon and Michoacan. It’s not out of control. Also, conflicts in Sonora have been limited to violence between cartels, or between criminals and law enforcement.
That said though, the potential for danger and violence is still a concern. We are frequent visitors to Sonora, and have not felt threatened in any way, although the heightened presence of federal police and military can be a bit unnerving.
Sonora is a beautiful place with rich culture and beautiful, friendly people. However, making the decision of whether to visit depends on your own tolerance for risk. If you’d prefer to sit at home and look at the pictures of Sonora, that’s fine. If at any time we feel that it is particularly unsafe to visit any part of (or all of) Sonora, we’ll place travel advisories without hesitation.
Current Travel Advisories