Members of the Jalisco Nueva Generación (CJNG) cartel reportedly killed at least 18 people in La Huerta, Aguililla city (Michoacán state), on Sunday, April 26. According to the authorities, the victims belonged to Los Viagra and Carteles Unidos, rivals of the CJNG. The assailants reportedly ambushed the victims on the morning (local time) while they were asleep. Following the shooting, army soldiers searched the area and found the deceased individuals. Security forces seized 16 heavy-caliber weapons and two armored trucks from the scene.
Heightened security measures are expected in Michoacán state over the near term. Context
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. 2017 was the most violent year on record based on violent crime indicators.
Individuals present in La Huerta, and Mexico more generally, 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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