The murder rate in Aguascalientes has more than doubled from January 2017 through September 2018 as drug gangs reenter the state from the surrounding states of Zacatecas, Jalisco, and San Luis Potosí. There is some debate as to whether the infiltration is limited to narcomenudistas (smaller drug gangs) or if the Jalisco New Generation and Sinaloa cartels are present in the state, as well. State leaders met with their neighboring counterparts in February 2018 to devise a strategy to combat the reemergence of drug cartels, but recent months have witnessed escalating violence against law enforcement and security personnel.
A further increase in drug-related crime, especially homicide and kidnapping, is likely in the coming months.
Despite seeing relatively high rates of drug-related crime from 2004 through 2010, Aguascalientes has been largely spared from drug-related murders, kidnappings, and robberies affecting other areas of Mexico as cartels both large and small have generally abandoned the state in the years since. However, the Jalisco New Generation cartel announced its presence in the state on September 11 amid rising violent crime rates. The Sinaloa cartel subsequently declared its presence and intent to contest the Jalisco New Generation cartel. As of early November, the state's murder rate is on pace to be the highest ever recorded in its history.
Individuals present in Aguascalientes are advised to remain vigilant, to vary daily routines, and to refrain from sharing personal information with unknown persons to reduce the risk of being targeted by potential kidnappers. If attacked, remain calm, do not offer any resistance, and obey all demands issued by your assailant(s). Do everything in your power to keep the situation as calm as possible (e.g. accept offered food, engage in conversation initiated by your captors, avoid all political or potentially inflammatory topics, do not do anything that would alarm your captors, etc.).
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