I'm from Matamoros, Tamaulipas, and although there is danger out here, I think many (especially the ones across the border) fall into a state of psychosis when they think about life south of the border. I'm always around the city, and I rarely experience anything rather odd. Yes, you may see once in a while a SUV or a pick-up truck pass by you at an excessive speed, but the narcos in Matamoros are busy in their own thing, and probably have better things to worry about. Military convoys are somewhat common, but again, nothing to worry about.
In addition, the drug corridor of Matamoros is not in dispute right now. The Gulf Cartel has managed to protect it very well from rival cartels, so that makes it "safer" than other cities across Tamaulipas. Moreover, the Gulf Cartel has infiltrated Matamoros so deeply that they have the support (trust) of many people, and they probably wouldn't dare to mess that up. As long as you're not in the business, you don't have to worry.
There's shootings every now and then, perhaps even everyday, but most of them take place in far neighborhoods or outside the city limits. The big shootings, which manage to make it to the news, are the ones worth considering, since they can take place anywhere, anytime. However, that doesn't mean you'll get shot if you come here. The drug cartels usually do not target civilians. It's usually between themselves and the military. In Matamoros, all of the streets are busy all day long, and the probability of being present in a shooting is relatively slow, as far as I can tell my personal experience. Think about it, Matamoros is a big city, bigger than what people actually think.
TIPS: Be smart, know where you're at, don't try to call for attention, definitely do not look for trouble, drive safely, not aggressively, be attentive at all times, and drive through busy streets at night. over 8 years agoAnswered by Juan Jimenez via WorldNomads.com
I'm from Arizona. I just (October 2019) spent a week in Matamoros (one day in Reynosa) for work. I found Matamoros to be a clean, friendly city. Don't get me wrong! It's not Switzerland, but neither is Chicago. If you behave legally, play safe, don't do bad things, and you follow the same precautions you would follow while visiting in Philadelphia you should be ok. Now, there is a certain degree of psychosis on the north side of the river about how bad it is. Maybe it's not as good as it was 20 years ago, but it's definitely not the "gates to hell" as people in Brownsville seem to tell you. Traveled all over the city and I did not hear a single gunshot (day or night). Play safe, drive safely, don't do drugs. Stay in nicer neighborhoods, and you should be fine. 6 months ago