At least eight people were killed, including six police officers in an ambush by suspected Sinaloa Cartel gunmen on Thursday, October 1, in the municipality of El Mezquital (Durango state). A further seven police officers were injured in the incident when the cartel members fired on a passing security convoy. The governor of Durango state, Jose Rosas Aispuro has stated that additional resources have been deployed to the area to investigate the incident and search for the suspects.
Heightened security measures are expected in Durango state over the near term.
Mexico continues to suffer from high violent crime rates. Much of the violence is driven by narco-trafficking. 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.
Clashes between narco-gangs and government forces are at the highest levels since former President Felipe Calderon's war against narco-trafficking (2008 to 2011). The capture and extradition of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzmán, the former leader of the Sinaloa cartel, has led rival groups to attempt to take advantage of the power vacuum and establish stronger criminal networks.
Individuals present in Mexico 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, Sinaloa, and Tamaulipas, as well as the northeastern border with the US.
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