There are fears that infighting within the powerful CJNG cartel (Cartel de Jalisco Nueva Generación) could lead to increases in violence levels in the various regions of the country with a CJNG presence, notably the northeastern state of Tamaulipas. This comes at a time when Mexico is already experiencing record levels of violence - largely blamed on fighting between rival organized criminal groups. 2017 had the highest murder rate since recordkeeping first began two decades ago, with crime rates increasing further in the period January-February 2018.
A breakaway faction of the CJNG - the Northwest Cartel - has been blamed for gunfights with security forces that occurred March 24-25 in the Tamaulipas city of Nuevo Laredo, located on the US border; at least three civilians were killed. Evidence suggests that factions are fighting over lucrative smuggling routes to and from the US.
According to official statistics, more than 25,000 murders were reported in 2017, shattering previous records, for a rate of 20.5 homicides per 100,000 residents. Other rates of violent crime also increased in 2017, including abductions and carjacking. The spike in violence has been attributed to fierce turf wars between competing and fragmented cartels (notably the Sinaloa cartel), who have been adopting increasingly militarized tactics.
Individuals in Mexico, notably Tamaulipas, are advised to keep abreast of the situation and adhere to any instructions issued by security forces.