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Mexico: Risk of violence surrounding incidents of fuel theft

Fighting between rival gangs of fuel thieves on July 2-3 in Puebla state leaves at least nine people dead; high risk of incidental violence surrounding gang activity

TIMEFRAME expected from 2/7/2017, 12h00 until 5/7/2017, 11h59 (America/Mexico_City). COUNTRY/REGION Puebla state

Event

Puebla state officials announced that at least nine people were killed during clashes between rival gangs on Sunday, July 2, and Monday, July 3. Fighting broke out between the gangs in the town of Ixtlahuacán, Huehuetlán El Grande municipality, on July 2. During the violence, a police chief was killed and five people previously kidnapped by one of the gangs were found executed in Santo Tomás Chautlá. According to local residents, both criminal groups were involved in stealing fuel and selling it in the region.

Context

A number of gangs of fuel thieves, known as huachicoleros, operate in Puebla. Violent clashes between rival criminal groups occur regularly. Much of the fighting takes place in eastern parts of the state, particularly in the towns of Acajete, Tepeaca, Tecamachalco, Palmar de Bravo, Quecholac, and Acatzinco. On May 30, the Secretary of the Interior announced during a visit to the state of Veracruz that the federal government is committed to fighting huachicoleros in Puebla and Veracruz.

Advice

Individuals in Puebla are advised to remain vigilant at all times.

Due to extreme levels of violence linked to the presence of various armed groups, many Western governments advise against travel to a large portion of Mexican territory, including Guerrero, Colima, Sinaloa, Michoacán, and Tamaulipas states and the northeastern border with the United States, as well as to a lesser extent Chihuahua, Coahuila, Durango, Jalisco, Nayarit, Nuevo León, and Sonora states.

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