Authorities uncovered the bodies of at least 21 people killed in an apparent clash between drug cartels near Miguel Alemán (Tamaulipas state) on Wednesday, January 9. Officials believe the violence is attributed to a gang war between the Zetas and the Gulf cartels. Investigators also found the burned chassis of several trucks disguised to resemble government vehicles. Heightened security measures are expected in Miguel Alemán over the coming days and weeks.
Fierce turf wars between competing and increasingly fragmented cartels are on the rise in much of the country and violence in parts of Mexico is spiraling out of control as cartels adopt increasingly militarized tactics. Business owners and government figures are also targeted, and bystanders can be caught up in the crossfire. Monitoring groups report more that 150,000 people have been killed in organized crime-related killings between 2006 and 2018.
Individuals present in Mexico, particularly in the Miguel Alemán area, are advised to remain vigilant, refrain from sharing personal information with unknown persons, not post information regarding your location and activities on social media platforms, and vary daily routines to limit the risk of being targeted by potential kidnappers. Keep in mind that criminals are often armed; in the event of a mugging or kidnapping, remain calm, do not offer any resistance, and obey all demands issued by your assailant(s).
Due to extreme levels of violence linked to the presence of various armed groups, some Western governments advise against travel to various parts of the country, notably the states of Guerrero, Michoacán, and Tamaulipas, as well as the northeastern border with the US.
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