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?

A 14 year old boy — a child — was arrested by Mexican authorities for beheading and cutting the genitalia off several cartel victims on behalf of the drug cartels. And he was heading for the U.S., arrested while boarding a bus for Tijuana, en route to visiting his mother in San Diego.

News like this is what is hurting the heck out of Mexico’s tourism and second home real estate market.