Is Mexico Dangerous? How This Gringo Got Robbed South of the Border

Is Mexico Dangerous?

The question everyone wants to know before heading down south of the border.

You read the statistics. Hear the wild reports on the news.

But what’s the reality of the situation? Is it as bad as they claim?

Millions of gringos head down south for their vacations each and every year. Most return without incident.

Most of the violence is probably just drug cartels killing each other off.

Or so I thought.

Then I made a silly mistake and ended up getting robbed in Mexico.

Aka when living south of the border catches up with ya.

P.S: Learning Spanish definitely helps you stay safe in Mexico!

How This Gringo Got Robbed South of the Border

See what had happened was…

I was shooting YouTube videos with a buddy down here in Mazatlan, Mexico. A “dangerous” city if you’re looking at the stats.

We were driving from beach to beach shooting content and talking trash.

It was a good ole’ time.

But it was getting a little late and we had most of the shots for the day. We just needed the concluding thoughts for the videos.

One final last shot for the day.

I asked him where to go.

He said he knew of an abandoned house with the best views in Mazatlan – a couple minutes away from where we were.

I was sold.

100% ready and willing to enter the belly of the beast.

It truly sounded like the perfect place to end the day. A day filled with damn good content.

So, we make a U-turn and head back towards the south of the city – before cruising up a small mountainside.

Pulling up to an abandoned house, we hop out and pop the front door open. Some kid, like 17-18 years old, is sitting inside with his motorcycle and some special substances.

We chat for a minute. Make some small talk. He seems pretty normal. Not the gang banging type.

No worries.

So, we head inside and check out the views.

They’re stunning.

Like truly world-class. Honestly, some of the best damn views I’ve seen in my life. Beach, city, sky, mountain, and more.

Combined with the rundown, abandoned home ensured it was a sight to behold. Hell, all the walls were covered in graffiti – which added to the charm.

I start shooting video, taking pics, and the whole nine. Baffled that such an amazing view was abandoned. Such a prime piece of real estate and no one living there.

But I notice my phone is dying.

So, we head out to the car to charge up before shooting the conclusions to the multiple YouTube videos we shot that day.

Twenty minutes later and we head back inside.

I pay the young kid a few bucks to hold the camera and we get ready to take the videos.


All Hell Breaks Loose

I’m getting the angle perfect for the kid when I see something out of the corner of my eye.

I look at my buddy, “What was that?”

Something had just moved, quickly, by the entrance to the room we were in.

I get up to see what it was. I didn’t think there was going to be an issue.

Then one guy comes in through the front of the room yelling in rapid-fire Spanish.


I see someone else out of the corner of my eye coming in behind me on the balcony.

We were cornered. In the back room of an abandoned house.

One guy in front of me.

With a knife.

Another guy behind me with his hand reaching into a backpack.

And I couldn’t see outside the room. I had no idea if they had other friends waiting in different areas of the house or out front.

Suffice to say…

This wasn’t a good position to be in.

The dudes are yelling at us to sit down, keep our heads down, and clear out our pockets.

It’s utter chaos…

But my mind goes into a super-slow mode.

That exact same thing that happened to me in El Salvador – when I got jumped down there.

You’ve got lethal weapons within a few feet of your body and your focus goes into hyperdrive.

In some ways, a life or death situation.

Things slow down like crazy and you process information faster than ever before.

Now, I’m no tough guy.

A lover, not a fighter.

But I wasn’t about to just hand over my phone without assessing things real quick.

So, I slowly look up at the guy who has a knife within a few feet of my neck.

And he’s a fooking shrimp.

Like 130-140 lb. Just a tiny dude.

Plus, he’s tweaked out. Definitely on drugs.

The thoughts of popping this bandito raced through my mind.

I had 60-70 lb. on him. If I could catch him unfocused for just a couple seconds, I could get him away from me and dip out.

But I still didn’t know what the guy behind me had.

I didn’t know who was waiting around the other corner of the abandoned house.

I didn’t know who could be sitting out front.

Too many variables at play.

And all the stories of people getting stabbed for cell phones in Colombia begin going through my mind…

People dying because they simply didn’t hand over a smartphone to some shithead with a knife.

Then I looked to my side and my buddy is scared shitless.

I try to say something to him in English.

And while his English is normally conversational, he was struggling to spit out a coherent sentence.

On top of that, the kid who was here before us is legit curled up in the fetal position in the corner tweaking out.

So, the two locals are terrified of this drugged-out twig with a knife in front of me.

Fook me.

If two locals are scared, I’m not gonna chance it. Not worth it.

Hell, I’m in Sinaloa Mexico.

This isn’t the Mayan-fooking-Rivera. This isn’t exactly the type of place to take risks and act like a tough guy.

It’s the home of the Sinaloa Cartel.

So, I hand over my phone.

Keep my head down.

Like a bitch.

The dudes grab phones from all three of us. They take money from my buddy and the other kid. I didn’t have any.

Then they sprint off and out of the room. Out of the house.

It was the last I saw of them.

The Dangers of Mexico

The question of is Mexico dangerous has changed a bit for me.

But, I’m still of the opinion that Mexico isn’t that dangerous.

Hell, it probably wasn’t the best idea to check out abandoned buildings in Sinaloa, Mexico.

Buildings that turned out to be hangouts for dudes on crystal meth.

Wasn’t my best idea. Nor my finest moment.

When doing it for the ‘Gram – errr, YouTube…

Goes horribly wrong!

But it wasn’t the end of the world.

Lost an old iPhone.

Pride got banged up a bit for getting jumped by a fooking twig of a man.

But at the end of the day…

I’m still here and kicking.

Didn’t get stabbed. Still banging out more content than anyone else on this here computer screen.

Life goes on, although my YouTube content will be on hold for now.

P.S: Oh the irony…

Is Mexico Dangerous?

I’ll dive deeper into safety in Mexico in another post, but this situation detailed above was mostly my fault.

Going into an old abandoned house, essentially a trap house in Sinaloa, Mexico…

Just isn’t a good idea!

Highly recommend avoiding just that.

And overall, if you’re wondering, “Is Mexico Dangerous?” – you’ll probably be fine.

Most gringos head to beach resorts when heading south of the border or they head down to Mexico City for big city living and a little party.

In situations like the above, you won’t have much issue.

Just stay in the tourist areas and neighborhoods. If you can do that, Mexico isn’t dangerous at all.

You’ll be perfectly safe, gringo.


More Mexico articles:

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Jake Nomada

Travel junkie turned blogger. Location independent. From the Midwest, but often based in Latin America. Big on beaches, rumba, and rum. Addicted to the gym. Committed to showing a different style of travel - one that involves actually interacting with locals and exploring different cultures.

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Josh Bar - October 6, 2018

Shit Happens.

The most dangerous man is the one with nothing to lose. You don’t know that the guy in back of you had. Losing your phone is better than getting stabbed or shot.

This is why I always leave the house with a burner phone when I am traveling. Sucks that you were trying to record content though.

    Jake Nomada - October 7, 2018

    Man, you are correct on all accounts.

    I used to use burner phones, too. But I like to get content now, which makes that damn near impossible. Got to find a solution.

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