Mexican authorities registered the most violent beginning of the year since records began with approximately 71 daily murders nationwide in January and February. According to the National System of Public Security (SNSP), 4206 murders occurred in the reporting period, an 11 percent increase from the same period in 2017. In addition, violent robberies increased by 20 percent as compared with early 2017, with over 41,000 cases reported.
2017 was the most violent year on record with over 25,000 homicides reported nationwide and violence levels continue to climb. The spike in violence has been attributed in part to fierce turf wars between competing and increasingly fragmented cartels. This trend has been observed in much of the country since mid-2016 despite the deployment of extra security forces to the worst-affected areas. Business owners and government figures are also targeted, and bystanders can be caught up in the crossfire.
Individuals present in Mexico 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 (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.).