I am preparing a story for you on a beautiful coastal area north of Baja, La Paz, on the sparkling Sea of Cortez, called Costa Baja. But first, I want to tell you about David Simmons. He is an American travel writer who wants to tell the whole world not to worry about safety in Mexico:

“The cartels do not target Americans,” Simmons said. “No.1, they shoot at themselves, then they shoot at (Mexican) cops. You hear about the occasional gringo getting caught in a crossfire, but you’re more likely to get robbed in Los Angeles.”

This is what we heard in La Paz. The bad stuff, the violence — and there is a lot of violence, with children being recruited to behead victims — is happening along the border and in Mexico City. In fact, the darling publicist at Costa Baja rollerblades on the boardwalk late at night in La Paz; her brother has been kidnapped twice in Mexico City. I know the Mayor of Monterrey, Mexico fled to Las Colinas, near us here in Dallas, but I was told by a Monterrey resident (who was looking to buy in La Paz) that had more to do with her family being in the area.

Simmons estimates that one million ex-pat Americans are living in Mexico, enjoying the lower cost of living and temperate climate. But he agrees the government of Mexico has to get serious and take a bite out of crime. I have to say, his solution is interesting: legalizing pot in the U.S. Can’t say I disagree, but I doubt it will ever happen.

Are you afraid to travel to Mexico? Would you buy a second home there?