Reported crime rates rose considerably in Mexico City in 2017. Compared to 2016, incidents of violent robbery increased by 28.5 percent, intentional homicide by 14.3 percent, business robberies by 13.1 percent, and theft targeting pedestrians by 11.9 percent, according to the National Citizen Observatory (ONC). The most common motives for homicides in Mexico City are "revenge" (accounting for 43 percent of murders) and "quarrels" (accounting for 35 percent). Notably, violent crime has increased on the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) campus in Mexico City in recent weeks as the rival Tepito Cartel and the Rodolfos cartel compete for influence and drug dealing turf. A continued uptick in violence is expected in Mexico City and on the UNAM campus in the short- to medium-term.
Additionally, companies shipping goods along the Mexico City-Puebla highway have reportedly resorted to hiring private security firms to ensure safe shipping amid increased rates of theft; some 80 percent of trucks are robbed on the highway, according to local media sources. Specifically, robberies are most common between the San Martín Texmelucan and Esperanza tollbooths. Further incidents of robbery are expected on the highway in the coming weeks despite a heightened police and private security presence.
On February 23, two people were killed in a cartel-related skirmish in Los Frontones area of the UNAM campus.
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 reportedly the most violent year, based on violent crime indicators, in the country's history.
Due to extreme levels of violence linked to the presence of various armed groups, some Western governments advise against travel to a large portion of Mexican territory, including Michoacán, as well as the states of Guerrero and Tamaulipas and the northeastern border with the US.
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