From an article in the Yucatan Times
Merida is the capital City of the state of Yucatan, located on the Peninsula of the same name, in Southeast Mexico, is just a few hours away from the Riveria Maya. Its population is about 1.5 million people and most of its economy comes from service related businesses. Merida is best known for its very hot and humid weather, which can be very challenging during the summer, the white color of its typical houses and its magnificent gastronomy. There are many things that make Merida a very beautiful place, but…
Is it really safe to visit?
Merida is currently considered as the safest city in Mexico, and its crime statistics are very low, as compared to other cities in the country. In Merida, we can find a friendly environment that is mostly quiet and very relaxed. There is not the lack of security feeling that you might get in other cities that are known to be more dangerous, and people is not afraid of sudden violent situations on streets, nightclubs, concerts or other places.
Statistically, Merida has had some increase in crimes; however, very few of those were related to drug cartels violence though. The felonies that have affected Merida the most, have been robberies to established businesses or homes, which has had certain impact on the economy of the State and it has made the government take actions to try to control the situation before it causes greater economic losses.
During the last years the government of Merida has invested a significant amount of money on security infrastructure and on better training and equipment for its police force, and this has helped to maintain the sense of safety that people in Merida is so proud of.
Palacio Cantón, on Paseo de Montejo. Mérida, Yucatán
Internal Situation in Merida
Merida is a city that lately has received a lot of new immigrants, because of the increase of violence in other States of the Country. Many families from States such as Nuevo Leon, Tamaulipas, Chihuahua, Distrito Federal and Estado de México among others, have moved to the city of Merida, looking for more peaceful grounds and less threatening life conditions. Some have moved for good, and others are there while things settle down at their states of origin.
A lot of casinos have been established in Merida during the last 5 or 6 years, which brought investment to the city, however on the other hand it also brought more of the night-life kind of activity that might involve certain degree of crime or violence, mostly related to alcohol or drug abuse, robberies, and others that are common to cities that have a higher degree of nightlife activity. Nevertheless, just a couple of weeks ago, most of the casinos were suddenly closed down in a matter of days, due to tax issues, and now they are opening them again one by one.
To go or not to go to Merida
Considering that Merida is known now as the safest city of Mexico, and that it receives a good amount of national (Mexican) tourists and even immigration, we consider that Merida is a city you can visit without worrying too much about it.
Even when Merida is somewhat near to Cancun (about 300 km by road, or 3:30 hrs. driving), and Cancun is a place with a lot more activity in every sense, there have been very few incidents regarding drug cartels, fights between criminal gangs, or similar issues.
Merida provides a sense of safety that is very appreciated by its own inhabitants, and by its visitors.