On Tuesday, July 31, the US Consulate General Hermosillo announced that US government personnel are prohibited from traveling to parts of Sonora state, including San Carlos, Guaymas, and Empalme, due to violent crime and the accompanying police response. The directive will reportedly be reevaluated on Thursday, August 9. The move comes after the US government advised citizens to refrain from traveling to the states of Guerrero, Michoacán, Tamaulipas, and Sinaloa on July 17.
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, journalists, politicians and candidates, and social leaders are also targeted, and bystanders can be caught up in the crossfire. Mexico's nationwide homicide rate for the first half of 2018 represents a 16.1 percent increase on 2017, which was previously the most violent year on record based on violent crime indicators.
Individuals present in Mexico are advised to avoid nonessential travel to the abovementioned areas of Sonora state and to remain vigilant for criminal activity. Keep in mind that criminals may be armed; do not resist if confronted and do not look your attacker(s) directly in the eye.